As an International Artist, when should I start the visa process?

That depends on how you plan to travel to the U.S.:

ESTA: If you are planning to travel under the Visa Waiver (ESTA), you should apply using the U.S. government website as soon as possible. Applying for ESTA can go as quickly as a few minutes, but it’s best to be prepared for a delay. 

B1: Currently it is very difficult to obtain a B-1 visa to the U.S. You should start the process immediately by checking the website of your local U.S. embassy. 

O or P visa: If you are applying for an O or P  visa, you must first have your petition approved by USCIS. (See here for more information.) Petition approval may take as long as 180 days. After the petition is approved, you will need to apply for a visa, and US embassies and consulates around the world have very different processing times. 

Whatever route you choose, please let SXSW know how you intend to enter the United States (whether using the VWP or a visa) by February 7, 2022, to secure your spot in the SXSW Music Festival. This information can be updated within Artist Admin by visiting the Members section and editing each listed Member and Crew Member information. For questions contact For more information about obtaining a visa or estimated time frames, a list of attorneys and agencies is provided in the Additional Resources FAQ.

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