P-1 Athletes and Entertainment Groups


P-1 visa is a dual intent visa


The P visa category covers athletes, entertainers and cultural performers. There are three different visa classifications within this category. P-1 visas are for athletes and group entertainers that have been internationally recognized as outstanding for a long and continuous period of time. P-2 visas are for entertainers that are a part of reciprocal international exchanges. P-3 visas are for persons coming to teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique. P visas are also available to essential support personnel. P-4 visas are available to the spouses and children of P-1, P-2 and P-3 visa holders.

 

P-1A Athletes:

 

The P-1A classification applies to an alien coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.

 

P-1B Entertainment Group:

 

The P-1B classification applies to an alien coming temporarily to perform as a member of a foreign-based entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. This person also must have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group (ordinarily for at least one year) and/or provide functions integral to the group's performance.

Validity of a P-1 Visa:

The validity of the P-1 visa varies, as visa holders are admitted for the time necessary to complete their event, competition, or performance. However, P-1A (athletes) may be admitted for a period of up to 5 years with one extension up to 5 years and P-1B (entertainment group) may not exceed 1 year.

 

P-2 Reciprocal Exchange:

 

The P-2 classification applies to a person coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and an organization in another country.

When to file:

Petitions should be filed as soon as possible, but no more than 6 months before the proposed employment will begin or the extension of stay is required. If the petition is not submitted at least 45 days before the employment will begin, petition processing and subsequent visa issuance may not be completed before the person's services are required or previous employment authorization ends.

 

Validity of a P-2 Visa:

 

P-2 visas are granted for the time necessary to complete the event up to one year and extensions for a similar period.

 

P-3 Culturally Unique Performers:

 

The P-3 classification is for 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. The P-3 visa holder must be coming to the U.S. to participate in a commercial or noncommercial cultural event which will further understanding or development of his or her art form.

When to file:

Petitions should be filed as soon as possible, but no more than 6 months before the proposed employment will begin or the extension of stay is required. If the petition is not submitted at least 45 days before the employment will begin, petition processing and subsequent visa issuance may not be completed before the person's services are required or previous employment authorization ends.

 

Validity of a P-3 Visa:

 

P-3 visas are granted for the time necessary to complete the event up to one year and extensions for a similar period.

 

Essential Support Personnel:

 

This category applies to persons who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 “because he or she performs support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance.” The person must have the appropriate qualifications to perform the services, critical knowledge of the specific services and experience in providing such support.

When to file:

Petitions should be filed as soon as possible, but no more than 6 months before the proposed employment will begin or the extension of stay is required. If the petition is not submitted at least 45 days before the employment will begin, petition processing and subsequent visa issuance may not be completed before the person's services are required or previous employment authorization ends.


Validity of visa for essential support personnel:

 

Visas for essential support personnel are granted for the time necessary to complete the event up to one year and extensions for a similar period.

P-4 Spouses and Dependents

A spouse and children may be granted P-4 visas to accompany a P-1, P-2 or P-3 visa holder. P-4 visas holders may only be admitted for the same period of time as the principal beneficiary.

What happens after a P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa petition is approved?

Applying for the Visa:

If the beneficiary of the P visa petition is outside of the country when the petition is approved, he/she must apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate.

Some beneficiaries may be visa exempt. In those cases, the I-129 approval notice is sent to the port of entry (POE) where the beneficiary intends to apply for admission. For specific procedures on Visa Application Procedures, Required Documentation and Visa Ineligibility Waiver, please visit Visa Services at the Department of State.

If the beneficiary is already in the U.S. and is changing from one non-immigrant status to another, a visa is not required. However, a visa may be required if the beneficiary subsequently leaves the U.S. and wishes to re-enter.