Are You Eligible for a P Visa?
There are a number of different visas available to those who want to travel to the United States. While some of the most common types of visas are work or family visas, P visas may also be granted to people wishing to come to the United States as an athlete, musician, or entertainer. As we are proudly based in Nashville, Music City, USA, we are often asked about visas for performers. At the offices of Ozment Law, PLC, our Tennessee immigration attorneys can assist you in understanding what a P-visa is, eligibility requirements, and how to apply for a P visa.
There are four different types of P visas that are issued by the United States government. These are:
- P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete. This type of P-visa is for international athletes who are traveling temporarily to the United States to perform at a specific competition as an athlete.
- P-1B Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group. For those who are members of entertainment groups that are traveling to the United States for performance purposes, a P-1B visa may be available. These are only for groups; P-1B visas are not available for individual performers.
- P-2 Artist or Entertainer Performing Under Reciprocal Exchange Program. Artists who are entering the states as part of a recognized reciprocal exchange program may qualify for a P-2 visa. Evidence of skills that are comparable to other artists is necessary for this visa type.
- P-3 Artist or Entertainer Part of a Culturally Unique Program. Finally, a P-3 visa is granted when an entertainer or artist wants to enter the United States for the purpose of coaching, performing, or teaching as part of a program that is “culturally unique.” Documentation that proves that all performances/lessons will be culturally unique is required for this visa to be granted.
P-visas are not for everyday visitors, but rather those with a unique skill set who wish to enter the United States for a very specific purpose. In order to apply for a P visa, the person’s employer is obligated to file a Form I-129, which is a petition for a non-immigrant worker to the United States. The petition must be accompanied by all of the supporting documentation that is required for the visa (which varies depending on specific P-visa type). A fee must also be paid along with the application.
In addition to understanding the application filing process and the documentation that is required, it is also important to understand the rights and limitations under the visa. For example, those seeking a P-1A visa may be able to stay in the United States for a time period that does not exceed five years, whereas those applying for P-3 visa may usually only stay for a time period not exceeding one year. For more information, consult our P visa page.
If you are an athlete, entertainer, or artist who has questions about traveling to the United States for a specific purpose related to your arts, sports, music, or entertainment event, our lawyers can help. For a consultation about P visas, please call us today or request an appointment by sending us a message.