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Why should music professionals travel to the United States?

Being a professional in the music industry is not as easy or a glamorous as people may think. Making a name for yourself or your talent is an art. Every artist, every song is different. It is the producer’s job to capture it. It is the agent’s job to get the talent booked. It is the manager’s job to negotiate. It is our job, as immigration attorneys, to make sure that you have access to the US market. We make sure that before you travel to the United States you have the proper visa and work authorization that you need.

Immigration policies are becoming stricter and stricter. Custom and border officers are turning away a record high number of artists attempting to enter the United States using their tourist or visa waiver status. If you do not plan ahead and work with an immigration attorney, you may risk being turned away or getting your visa to the United States revoked. Some artists have even been banned from traveling to the United States after using the wrong visas to come and perform.

The reason that all musicians and professionals of the music industry must travel to the United States is simple! According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the United States is the world’s largest market for the music industry and it is growing! The IFPI has an insight and analysis team that works closely with member companies, national groups, and industry partners to provide research and insight into patterns and methods of music consumption worldwide. IFPI also does studies of recorded music market, developments in both licensed and unlicensed consumption, and changing habits of music listeners.

According to IFPI, the United States has ranked as the number one market for music since 2011. The latest report shows that the US has about $5,318.2 MILLION in revenue from the sale of music. 18 percent is from physical sales, 70% is from digital sales, 8 % is from performance rights, and 4% from synchronization.

As a member of the music profession, it is crucial for you to have access to the U.S market. Not only will you have the opportunity to work with the best producers, record labels, and venues but you will have a chance to expose your work to American listeners and members of the Diaspora of your home county living in the United States.

One simple example of how international music professionals have flourished and had a significant impact on American culture is the integration of Latin Music! Some of today’s most popular Latin acts are Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, and Pitbull. Latin Music has gotten so popular in the United States that the Latin Grammy Awards were launched in 2000 and the Billboard magazine started the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

The influence of Spanish music on American culture can be felt in American jazz, blues, pop, and even country music. There was an obvious acceptance in the mid-1980s when Billboard introduces the Top Latin Albums and Hot Latin Track charts for Latin music albums and singles. Jose Feliciano was the first artist to crossover along with Gloria Estefan in the 1980s.

In the 1990s Selena took over the charts in the U.S, before she was tragically killed. The late 1990s is when we saw the invasion of Latin pop stars like Ricky Martin, Thalia, Marc Anthony, and Enrique Iglesias. The Latin invasion continued in the 2000s with Shakira, Paulina Rubio, Jennifer Lopez, and Thalia. By the mid-2000s we saw an expansion of urban Latin music with the advent of reggaetón. Daddy Yankee and Pittbull.

Your chances of crossing over into mainstream American music is realistic. You also have the ability to target expatriates of your home country who already know and love your music but who are living in the United States.

There is a special visa that is for individual singers and groups that are not well known but who are culturally unique. If you are a performing music that can be tied to the culture of your home country, you will have the ability to apply for a visa to perform and promote your music in the United States. The Migration Policy Institute reported that millions of people currently residing in the United States have roots in other countries. For example, more than 48 million people in the United States have roots in Germany and more than 34 million people have roots in Mexico. Italy, Poland, France, India, the Dominican Republic, Korea, Canada, and the Netherlands ranked high on the list of countries having a big number of diasporas in the U.S

Getting the contract to perform or record, getting booked for a gig to play in the United States, or being invited to a music festival is exciting, but only half of what you need to come to the United States legally for work. Without the proper immigration documents, you are putting your entire career at risk! Why work so hard to finally have access to the U.S market and mess it all up because you don’t have the proper visa?!?

At the Elizee Law Firm, we will guide you through the process and make sure that you have all your ducks in a row before coming to the United States! It is your burden as the petitioner or beneficiary to show immigration services with documentation that you qualify for the visa that you want. We can help you put your best foot forward.


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