July 11, 2019 – Finding a balance between national interests and cross-border mobility of artists is a though act. Here is a series of positive and negative updates for the performing arts sector.
Visitor Visa Denials Impacting Canadian Presenters
An article in Le Devoir brought to light recent cases of temporary resident visa (i.e., visitor visas) denials that impacted Festival transamériques and Festival International Nuits d’Afrique. In one particular instance, a performance almost had to be cancelled. Canadian organizations who present artists from visa countries, especially from Africa and the Middle-East, should encourage these artists to initiate the visa process as soon as the contract is signed.
Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Barriers in Canada Gain Momentum
The Senate report on cultural diplomacy brought attention to fiscal barriers that negatively impact Canadian presenters and non-resident artists. The Performing Arts Tax Working Group is currently leveraging this report to initiate a necessary dialogue with Finance Canada on ways to address this problem at the tax treaty level.
Artists Touring in the U.S.: Allow More Time for Consular Processing
Since May 31, U.S. visa applicants worldwide in most categories, need to provide all social media identifiers when applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate. In addition, U.S. consulate have reportedly requesting DS-5535 supplemental questionnaire more frequently in recent weeks—particularly for artists from Africa. While these changes do not directly impact Canadian artists, increased visa processing times should be anticipated.
Simplified Taxation: IRS could emulate the CRA
Details will soon be announced about a simplifed CWA. This will provide relief for foreign guest artists seeking to confirm taxes due for work performed with U.S. arts organizations.
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