ATHLETIC TEAMS, AND ENTERTAINERS: P-1 VISAS
PARTICIPANTS IN RECIPROCAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMS:
CULTURALLY UNIQUE GROUPS: P-3 VISAS
The P visa category covers athletes and entertainers
who do not qualify under the “extraordinary
ability” standards of the O visa. The only
other category under which athletes or entertainers
may be admitted to the U.S. is the H-2B visa,
which requires the lengthier process of obtaining
a labor certification.
We assist companies, workers, and their dependent
family members in obtaining their P-1, P-2, P-3
and P-4 visas. We prepare the extensive paperwork
and guide them through the distinct and complex
rules that are applicable to each of the disciplines
within this visa category. We coordinate matters
between employer and employee, and represent the
parties before the INS in the U.S. and the consulate
of the employee’s home country. We guide
the parties through decisions regarding the distinct
eligibility requirements for P-1, P-2 and P-3
visas, as well as available waivers from those
requirements. We obtain and assemble all documentary
evidence, including no objection letters and advisory
reports from peer groups, labor unions, and management
organizations, as required, affidavits, employment
contracts, company letters, specific proof applicable
to each P visa, and assist with the change from
a P visa to another visa, as appropriate.
The P Visa Category
Is Outlined Below.
P-1 visas are available to internationally recognized
athletes, athletic teams, and entertainment groups.
P-2 visas are available to artists or entertainers,
either individually or as a group, who perform
under a reciprocal exchange program between the
U.S. and another country. P-3 visas are available
to artists or entertainers who come to the U.S.
either individually or as a group to develop,
perform, teach or coach in a culturally unique
event. P-4 visas are available to accompanying
relatives of P-1, P-2 and P-3 visa holders.
P Visa Privileges:
• Visas can be issued quickly.
• You may travel freely in and out of
the U.S. for the term of the visa.
• Visas are available to essential support
personnel of all P visa holders.
• Visas may be issued to accompanying
relatives, but they may not work or study.
• You do not have to prove that you intend
to return to your home country residence when
your business in the U.S. is completed.
• You may apply for permanent residence
while in P status.
P-1, P-2 and P-3
Visa Prerequisites and Restrictions:
• You must be coming to the U.S. to participate
in a particular event, tour or season.
• Individual entertainers are not eligible
for P-1 visas.
• P-1 visa holders must have international
reputations. (Inapplicable to circus groups;
waivers are available for certain entertainment
groups with national reputations.)
• P-1 entertainment groups must be “outstanding”
for a “sustained and substantial period
• Seventy five percent of P-1 entertainment
group members must be part of the group for
at least one year. ( Inapplicable to all P-1
support personnel and circus performers; waivers
available, e.g., in case of illness or unanticipated
circumstances, or a new critical member of the
• Specific and detailed evidentiary requirements
must be met regarding international or national
reputation (P-1); reciprocal exchange programs
(P-2), and culturally unique groups (P-3).
• Letters of no objection or advisory
opinions must normally be obtained from U.S.
peer groups, labor organizations, or management
organizations to obtain principal and support
• You are restricted to working for the
employer who acted as your sponsor.
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