P – Artists, Athletes, and Entertainers

The P is a non-immigrant visa allowing certain individuals to work temporarily in the United States and consists of four classifications: P-1, P-2, P-3, and P-4. The P classification covers foreing nationals that are internationally recognized athletes, artists or entertainers. The spouse and unmarried children of the P Visa holder may also accompany the P holder to the U.S. during his or her duration of stay.

P-1 Visa (Internationally Recognized Athletes/Entertainers)

The P-1 entertainment visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals who are athletes, artists and entertainers to enter into the U.S. for a specific event, competition or performance. The P-1 classification covers individuals who compete at an internationally recognized level.

Frequently Asked Questions about P-1 Visas

What are the Requirements  for a P-1 Visa?

The following requirements must be fulfilled in order to qualify for a P-1 visa:

  • The applicant must be a recognized athlete or entertainer participating in an event of international standing
  • The applicant must provide evidence of legal contracts with a major U.S. sports league, or organization
  • In addition, the P-1 visa petitioner must submit the proof of at least of the two following:
    • Participation in U.S. major sports league in prior seasons
    • Participation in international competitions with a national team
    • Written statement from the sports media or a recognized expert
    • Significant participation in a prior U.S. major league season

What are the Advantages of a P-1 Visa?

The P-1 Visa holder can:

  • Travel unrestricted
  • Engage in part-time study
  • Apply for adjustment of status and lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Enter the U.S. and perform for payment or prize money
  • Apply for visas for accompanying essential support personnel and dependents

What are the Limitations of a P-1 Visa?

  • P-1 visa applications will be approved only when the appropriate U.S. sports league or organization is consulted by USCIS
  • The dependents of P-1 visa are not permitted to work during their stay in the U.S.  If the dependents wish to work in the U.S., they have to apply for a work visa
  • P-1 entertainers (though not athletes) must be performing as part of a group and not  individually

How Long can Someone Stay in the U.S. on a P-1 Work Visa?

A person may be allowed to stay in the U.S. for up to five years with extensions not to exceed a total stay of ten years.

P-2 Visa (Artists or Entertainers)

The P-2 visa classification is designated for  artists or entertainers, either an individual or group, who wish to enter into the U.S. temporarily as part of a reciprocal exchange program. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: an organization in the U.S., and one abroad that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers. Necessary documentation includes formal reciprocal exchange agreements, descriptions of  the exchange program and evidence of qualifying skills.

Frequently Asked Questions about P-2 Visas

What are the Requirements for the P-2 Visa?

It must be proven that:

  • An exchange program exists between the U.S. organization and the foreign organization
  • The people involved in the exchange program are of equal caliber, and will be employed in similar conditions for similar periods of time
  • A person must be highly experienced and possess skills comparable to those of U.S. entertainers or artists in the reciprocal program
  • An appropriate labor organization is involved in negotiating the reciprocal exchange program

What are the Advantages of a P-2 Visa?

  • There are no travel restrictions on a P-2 visa
  • A P-2 visa holder  is permitted to engage in part-time study
  • The dependents of P-2 visa holders are allowed to engage in full-time study on P-4 visa
  • The spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of the P-2 visa holder are permitted to enter into the United States under a P-4 status
  • The P-2 visa  holder may apply for adjustment of status and lawfully seek to become a  permanent resident of the U.S.

What are the Limitations of a P-2 Visa?

The dependents of P-2 visa holders are not allowed  to work during their stay in the U.S.

How Long are P-2 Visas Issued for?

A P-2 visa for artists or entertainers is valid for a time period required to complete the event, activity, or performance, but it should not exceed one year. On a P-2 visa, the applicants are permitted to extend the period of stay in the U.S. Extensions may be  authorized in increments of one year for the performers to complete the event or activity for which the visa holder was admitted.

P-3 Visa (Culturally Unique Programs)

A  P-3 visa classification may be accorded to artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, coming to the U.S. for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation.

Further, someone coming to the U.S. to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of the art  form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

Frequently Asked Questions about P-3 Visas

What are the Requirements of the P-3 Visa?

The P-3 visa applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be qualified to perform the work as specified on the petition
  • Communicate effectively
  • Have not resided in the U.S. during the last year before arrival  on a P-3 Visa

What are the Privileges of a P-3 Visa?

The visa holder may:

  • Enter the U.S. and perform for payment or prize money
  • Engage in part-time study
  • Apply for visas for accompanying essential support personnel
  • Apply for P-4 visas for dependents

What are the limitations of P-3 Visas?

  • The visa holder may work only for the employer that sponsored them
  • P-3 visa petitions cannot be approved until the appropriate labor organization is consulted by USCIS
  • Dependents are allowed to stay in the U.S. with the visa holder, however they may not work

P-4 Visa (Spouse and Children of a P Visa  Holder)

P-4 visas are for the spouses and children of P-1, P-2 or P-3 visa holders who wish to visit or accompany the principal visa holder in the U.S.

Contact us for additional information on P visas, and guidance through what can be a complex process.