foreign magicians lecturing in US

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Bill Mullins
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

foreign magicians lecturing in US

Postby Bill Mullins » November 30th, 2015, 2:35 pm

When I see someone from outside the US lecturing in America, I've always assumed they were working "under the table".

This pretty much confirms that it's about the only possible way for a free lance performer to do i.

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Brad Jeffers
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Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: foreign magicians lecturing in US

Postby Brad Jeffers » November 30th, 2015, 4:17 pm

Quoting from the given link ...

> Whatever happened to bands coming in on tourist visas and playing a handful of cash-under-the-table gigs?

It's a gamble because you're pitting "getting noticed by music fans in the US" against "getting noticed by the US government". If the feds happen to see you doing paying work on a tourist visa, you can be arrested, deported and denied re-entry to the US for a few decades. Which will put a crimp in future tour plans.<

I guess foreign magicians are willing to take that risk (if what this poster says is true).

I would suppose that a magician giving a lecture to his peers is far less likely to be noticed by government officials (and by anyone else for that matter), than a band playing a public performance.

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Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: foreign magicians lecturing in US

Postby performer » November 30th, 2015, 4:55 pm

Indeed. And saying you are doing it for free (but really getting paid) is no excuse. You will be shipped out of the US and serves you right. And that goes for entertainers as well as lecturers. There are legal ways around it though but probably not worth the hassle. However, you can work a trade show providing your employer is not based in the US.

Many entertainers and lecturers have been barred entry to the US. Well known ones too. They are daft enough to bring things like contracts, letters or props with them which give the game away or they get a bit lippy to the immigration officers who have no sense of humour whatsoever. If they get suspicious of you they will look you up on Google and to their great delight they will find you listed under conventions or lecture events. Or entertainment bookings.

Oddly enough the best information on entering the US legally as an entertainer or speaker is from the CANADIAN government. Here is the link to the Publication. I have a PDF of it. ... ation.html

It gives all the details and you may decide it is not worth all the hassle. Especially when you realise you are subject to a withholding of a portion of your earnings for income tax purposes. I do hope the Magic Castle and various convention organisers are deducting 30% withholding tax from the fees of the entertainers and lecturers if they come from overseas. I suggest putting Derek Lever in charge of sorting that out. He will say he is not paying you anything (which is almost true after he will be finished with you) and 30 percent of nothing is nothing.

Not that I have a mischievous mindset of course.

But here is the good news. The Canadian government is not quite so harsh and providing you are not performing in a bar or restaurant for some unknown reason you are allowed to come in here and work. At one time you had to pay $150 at the border to be allowed to do this but this no longer applies.

This arrangement is not reciprocal with the US authorities and has irritated Canadian entertainers knowing that the Yanks can come here and work but we can't go there. However I am delighted to inform any Canadian convention organisers that they are obliged to deduct 15% withholding tax and give it to Her Majesty the Queen and the Government of Canada.

Serves you all right. Anyway I am not a lawyer so if you wish you can contact one who will charge you a fortune to tell you what I have just told you. I may after all have the odd detail wrong so you should check first

I do have a little information on this on my trade show blog but it only applies to trade show performers. It really is not much use for anything else. Here it is: (look for the article on 8th October)
https://marklewistradeshowmagiciansecre ...

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