US Immigration Officers Refuse Entry for an Egyptian-Canadian Band over Visa Confusion

in Canada/USA by

No one is safe from Trump’s immigration ban, even Canada. Despite the friendly meetings between Prime Minister Trudeau and President Donald Trump, the immigration ban is proving to be overkill for Canadian employees.

This week, a Canadian band ‘Massive Scar Era’ learned it the hard way the importance of proper documentation when they were turned away from the Peace Arch Border.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Cherine Amr and her two band members holding B1 visas (a visa that allows people to enter US for conference and meetings without receiving payment) were turned away from the border for having the wrong visa.

Despite the immigration ban, the news was a shock to the band, as they had been travelling on the same visa for years now. However, according to the officials, the band needed a P2 visa, which allows entry to entertainers and artists who get paid. According to the band, this was their third gig and never had they faced such difficulty.

According to immigration lawyer Kevin Zemp, the news was not a shock because officers previously assumed that this was an appropriate visit for business purposes.

According to U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, anyone visiting US for entertainment that pays cannot enter under a B or B1 visa. Zemp says that the US border is now taking extra measures on admission procedures, which means people will require specific visa for entry.

Since the ban, it has become extremely important that people come with complete documents, the right visa and a plausible reason for entering US.

Due to these strict rules, an American musician backed off from performing at SXSW because the festival announced that if any international artist was found violating their performance agreement, they would be handed over to immigration officers. This contract term was met with a lot of backlash from artists on social media and they demanded an apology for the changes. Though the festival organizers agreed to their terms, the changes will take place in the 2018 edition.


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