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P Visas for Performers, Artists, and Athletes

The Ranchod Law Group in Sacramento, California, is one of the nation’s leading immigration law firms focusing on employment visas, including P visas.

Who Can Receive a P Visa?

P visas are short-term U.S. work visas available to internationally recognized performers, artists, athletes, athletic teams, and entertainment companies that have received a job offer from a U.S. employer.

Spouses and children of P visa holders may accompany them to the United States for the length of the visa, but they are prohibited from securing employment. P visas can be issued to individuals, performing groups, or an entire team, as well as any essential support personnel.

There are four P visa classifications:

  • P-1 visa for internationally recognized athletes and entertainers
  • P-2 visa for artists or entertainers
  • P-3 visa for culturally unique programs
  • P-4 visa for dependents of P 1-3 visa holders

Eligibility Requirements for P Visas

To be eligible for a P visa, the following criteria must be met:

P-1 visas

  • Performers, artists, athletes, athletic teams, performing groups, or entertainment companies must be internationally recognized as performing at an outstanding level or they are participating in an event of international standing.
  • Athletic applicants must provide proof of legal contracts with a major U.S. sports league or organization.
  • For entertainment groups, each performer who wishes to qualify for a P-1 visa must have been an integral part of the group for at least one year. However, up to 25% of them may be excused from this requirement, if needed, or waived in exceptional circumstances (such as illness preventing the travel of a critical performer).
  • Coaching staff are required to actively support athletes or entertainers while they’re in the U.S.

P-2 visas

  • Applicants must provide proof that an exchange program exists between their organization and the sponsoring U.S. organization.
  • All people involved in the exchange program are of equal caliber and will be employed in similar conditions for similar periods of time.
  • Artists and entertainers must be highly experienced and possess skills comparable to the U.S. artists in the reciprocal program.
  • An appropriate labor organization must be involved in negotiating the terms of the reciprocal exchange program.

P-3 visas

  • Applicants for P-3 visas must typically be at least eighteen years of age if they intend to coach or teach.
  • Applicants must qualify to perform the work specified on the petition.
  • Applicants cannot have resided in the United States during the last year prior to their arrival on a P-3 visa.

Additional Advantages and Limitations of a P Visa

  • P visas can typically be issued quickly.
  • There is no annual limit on the number of people who can receive a P visa.
  • If a P visa holder would like to change jobs, they will need to apply for a new visa.
  • P visas are granted for the time needed to complete an event, tour, or season, up to one year. P-1 athletes may be admitted for up to five years, with up to a five-year extension.
  • P visa holders may be allowed additional time for vacation, promotional appearances, and stopovers related to the event they’re attending.
  • P visa holders may travel within and outside of the U.S. or stay continuously for as long as their visa status remains valid.

To learn more about P visas or for details and assistance in filing for a P status, please contact us today at 916-613-3553 or email us at info@ranchodlaw.com.