Today, I’m going to talk about the P visa. The P Visa is used for outstanding athletes, athletic teams, and entertainment companies who have a job offer from a U.S. employer. There are several categories that fall under the P visa.
⦁ P-1 visa for athletes and entertainers;
⦁ P-2 visa for artists and entertainers in exchange programs;
⦁ P-3 visa for culturally unique artists and entertainers;
⦁ P-4 visa are for dependents (spouse and unmarried children under the age for 21) of the primary P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holder; and
⦁ P visa for essential support personnel for the aforementioned individuals.
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 acclaim.
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 program’s legitimacy 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. As the P visa is employer specific, if the individual would like to change jobs, then the worker will need to obtain a new visa. These visas can be issued relatively quickly compared to other visas, and are generally granted for the length of time needed to complete a particular event, tour, or season, up to a maximum of one year.
However, certain P-1 athletes may be admitted for up to five years with one extension up to another five years, totaling 10. P visa holders may also be allowed extra time for vacation or promotional appearances outside of the U.S., depending on the circumstances. Consequently, 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. It is important to note that, spouses and unmarried children under age 21 in P-4 visa status may accompany the main P visa holder and can study full time or part time, but they may not accept employment in the United States.
What are the requirements for the P visa?
Each category under the P visa program has slightly different requirements. Furthermore, athletes and entertainers have different eligibility grounds. My team and I can help you determine if a P visa is right for you.
For everyone seeking a P visa, the following conditions must be satisfied:
⦁ You must have nonimmigrant intent.
⦁ Your work must not adversely affect American workers.
For athletes seeking the P-1 visa, the following conditions must also be satisfied:
1. The beneficiary must be coming to the U.S. solely to participate in a competition, performance, tour, or event.
The event should occur over a finite period and should not be of permanent duration. The start and end dates should be explicitly stated in the petition.
2. The beneficiary must be considered a professional athlete.
⦁ To be considered a professional athlete, you must meet one of the following requirements:
⦁ Perform like an athlete at an internationally recognized level of performance. This can be at either the individual or team level.
⦁ Be employed as an athlete by a team that is:
⦁ member of an association with 6+ teams whose total revenues exceed 10 million dollars annually and whose association regulates the conduct and performance of the member teams OR
⦁ any minor league team affiliated with this association
⦁ Perform in a theatrical ice-skating production. This may be professional or amateur and either as an individual or a group.
3.The beneficiary must have international recognition.
The beneficiary must be renowned in more than one country to meet this requirement. Some evidence of this could include participation in major competitions, significant honors, or written support from an expert in the field.
For entertainment groups seeking P-1 visas, the following conditions must also be satisfied:
1. The beneficiary must be involved in the arts.
⦁ The arts include but are not limited to fine arts, visual arts, and performing arts. Circus performers can get P-1 visas, but they have slightly different requirements.
2. The beneficiary must be an integral part of the performance.
⦁ This means that the performer must contribute meaningfully to the performance. The performer must also be considered outstanding in the discipline. This requires the performer to have been a group member for a “substantial” period. This is usually considered to be one year. Entertainers seeking a P-1 visa must be a member of a group.
3.The group must be considered a group.
⦁ Unlike athletes on a P-1 visa who come as individuals or as teams, entertainers must come as a team.
⦁ This requirement is one of the most difficult conditions for many groups. A group is defined as two or more people established as a single entity to perform or provide a service. A group must have been established for at least one year.
4. The group must be internationally recognized
⦁ To be internationally recognized, you must have received significant awards, performed in prestigious events, and/or have support from experts in the field. Only the group, not the individuals, must be internationally recognized. If only a few members of a large group will be performing, only those performers – not the entire group – will be considered.
For artists and entertainers seeking a P-2 visa, the following conditions must also be satisfied:
1. The beneficiary will be an integral part of the performance.
⦁ This is similar to the requirement for entertainers hoping to seek a P-1 visa. However, unlike for the P-1 visa, the beneficiary or beneficiaries do not have to be of exceptional ability.
2. The beneficiary will perform under a reciprocal exchange program.
⦁ The program must be between one or more U.S. groups and one more organization in a foreign state. The performers from the U.S. and the foreign country must be at a similar level and held to similar terms and conditions.
For artists and entertainers seeking a P-3 visa, the following conditions must be satisfied:
1. The program must be considered culturally unique.
⦁ This means the program must be unique to “a particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other groups of persons.” The program can be intended to teach others or to perform. The program can be either by an individual or a group. P-3 visas are unique in that group does not need to have performed together previously.
⦁ These programs must be demonstrative of a specific, distinct cultural practice. It is not enough for the performance to be in a foreign language. It is also not enough for the performance to be popular in a foreign country.
What are the responsibilities of the petitioner?
Petitions are filed by a petitioner on behalf of the beneficiary. This person can be either an employer or a third-party organization. The beneficiary is a foreign national who seeks to come to the U.S. on a P visa.
Multiple beneficiaries working in the same group can be named on a single petition. However, if a beneficiary works for multiple employers, each employer must submit their own petition. The only exception is if an agent will file a petition on behalf of all employers.
The petitioner is also responsible for paying for the beneficiary to return home at the end. The only exception to this rule is if the beneficiary chooses to leave before the program is done.
P Visa Process
The process for receiving a P visa is a multistep process. The following is a general listing of the process. A more detailed explanation of each step will follow. An immigration lawyer like myself can help you through this process.
1. Preparing and submitting the P Petition
The first step of the process is submitting a petition requesting P visa status (a duplicate petition will be submitted). This petition can be filed up to one year before the date of need.
The following documents will be required:
A Cover Letter
⦁ The cover letter provides a brief introduction to your case. It helps explain what you are asking for and why you are eligible.
⦁ This form gives an attorney or another representative the right to act on your behalf throughout the application process.
⦁ This form only needs to be included if you have paid extra for premium processing. This guarantees you will hear a response regarding your petition within 15 calendar days.
Form I-129 (with O and P Classifications Supplement)
⦁ This form provides basic information about the petitioner and the beneficiary. It also provides information about the work the beneficiary will do in the United States.
Statement of Support
⦁ This is a statement written by the petitioner highlighting the beneficiary’s successes. This provides information about the petitioner and the assignment.
Index of Exhibits
⦁ The exhibit index contains all the documents you choose to include to help support your application.
2. P Visa Application
The duplicate copy of the P petition sent to USCIS will be forwarded to the appropriate consulate. If USCIS approves the petitioner, they will inform the consulate through the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC). The petitioner and the attorney will also be notified when the petition is approved.
At this point, the beneficiary can apply for a visa at their local U.S. consulate or embassy. This appointment can be made up to 90 days before the program’s start date. For the interview, you should bring the approval notice for the petition, a continued statement of support from the petitioner, a certified copy of the petition, and evidence of your foreign residence/nonimmigrant intent to your meeting with the consular officer.
3. Arrival in the United States
Those with P visa status may enter the United States 10 days before their official start date. However, you may not begin working until the date listed on your start petition. You should bring your passport, P visa stamp, and P visa petition approval with you to the United States. You will receive stamp on your passport upon entering.
What documents are required for the P visa?
Many documents may be requested during the P visa petition process. The following is a general list. Please be aware this list is not comprehensive, and the exact documents you will be required to submit will depend on your individual case. I can help you prepare the appropriate documents for your situation.
⦁ Basic information about the employer
⦁ Description of the competition, performance, or event
⦁ Copy of employment contract
⦁ Independent evidence of the foreign national’s international recognition
⦁ Information from the foreign nationals regarding their accomplishments
⦁ Evidence of a reciprocal program
⦁ Evidence the program will be “culturally unique”
⦁ Copy of the foreign national’s resume
⦁ Copy of the foreign national’s degrees/transcripts
⦁ Copy of the biographic page(s) of passport(s) of foreign nationals and any dependents
⦁ Letters of support from industry experts
⦁ Complete itinerary
⦁ Documentation of wages to be paid
⦁ Business license
⦁ Federal tax returns
⦁ Written consultation from a labor organization
⦁ Evidence of a residence abroad (property taxes, property deed, mortgage, etc.)
P Visa Processing Time
The total time your P visa application takes to process depends on various factors. These factors include the time of year, the USCIS Center where you submit your petition, and the US consulate you use. However, most P visa applications take between 3 and 6 months.
The P Visa is a good option for entertainers and athletes coming to perform or compete in the United States. P visa petitions require meeting detailed criteria with proper documentation, which an expert immigration attorney like myself is able to evaluate.
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 at email@example.com.
I hope you found this video helpful. Subscribe if this content or information helps you in any way, schedule a consultation if you have specific questions, comment below if you want me to talk about something in specific, and share this resource because you never know who needs answers to these questions. I’ll see you in the next video.