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P Visa

What Is a P Visa?

The P visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which allows foreign nationals who are athletes, artists and entertainers to enter into the U.S. for a certain event, competition or performance.

There are three categories for P visas:

  • P-1 visa for athletes and entertainers;
  • P-2 visa for artists and entertainers in exchange programs; and
  • P-3 visa for culturally unique artists and entertainers.

Who qualifies for a P-1 visa?

An internationally recognized artist, entertainer, or athlete may enter into the U.S. to participate in a performance for a U.S. employer or an international employer working through a U.S. agent. One of the requirements is that the performer must be of international quality.

Who qualifies for a P-2 visa?

P-2 visas are available to artists or entertainers, either individually or as part of a group, who come to the U.S. to perform under a reciprocal exchange program between the U.S. and one or more other countries. The applicant will need to prove the legitimacy of the program by presenting a formal, written exchange agreement.

Who qualifies for a P-3 visa?

P-3 visas are available to artists or entertainers who come to the U.S., either individually or as part of a group, to develop, interpret, represent, teach, or coach in a program that is considered culturally unique. The program may be of either a commercial or noncommercial nature.

What are the benefits of applying under this visa category?

The P visa holder can work legally in the U.S. for the P visa sponsor. If, however, the person wants to change jobs, getting a new visa will be necessary. These visas can be issued relatively quickly. P visas are granted for the length of time needed to complete a particular event, tour, or season, up to a maximum of one year. However, P-1 athletes may be admitted for a period of up to five years with one extension of up to five years. P visa holders may also be allowed some extra time for vacation, as well as for promotional appearances and stopovers incidental and/or related to the event. P visa holders may travel in and out of the U.S. or stay continuously for as long as the P visa stamp and status are valid. Additionally, spouse and unmarried children under age 21 may receive P-4 visas to accompany the main P visa holder, but they may not accept employment in the United States.

How can an attorney help in this process?

Documenting P visa petitions requires meeting detailed criteria with proper documentation, which an expert attorney is able to evaluate. Furthermore, a skilled professional is able to determine whether a P visa is the best option or if another visa would be more beneficial.

To discuss if this is the right visa for you and if you can qualify under this category, please feel free to contact us by email or call us at 314-722-5247.