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P Visa: Athletes/ Artists/ Entertainers

At the Jain Law Group, we have handled numerous cases and have the necessary experience involving P visas. The P visa is for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. on a temporary basis to perform in athletics, entertainment and the arts.

The P-1 visa applies to individuals who have an internationally recognized level of performance coming temporarily to the U.S.:

  • To perform at a specific athletic competition, individually or as part of a group or team; or
  • To perform at a specific entertainment performance as a member of an entertainment group; members of the group must have had a substantial relationship with it over at least one year.
  • Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group may not obtain a P-1 visa, but must meet the higher standard of an O-1 visa.

The P-2 visa applies to an individual coming temporarily to the U.S. to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, under a reciprocal exchange program between the U.S. and one or more foreign states.

The P-3 visa applies to an individual artist or entertainer who is coming temporarily to the United States, either individually or as part of a group, or as an integral part of the performance of the group, to perform, teach or coach under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique.

  • A P-3 group is not required to have performed together for any specific period of time.

Individual athletes: The foreign national athletes must have achieved an international recognition and must be coming to the U.S. to participate in individual events.

Athletic teams: The foreign national athletes must be coming to the U.S. to participate in team events and must
have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The competition must be a distinguished event and it should require international recognition of the participation of teams.

The U.S. employer must file the petition and obtain approval from the USCIS first. The petition will include:

  • A letter from an appropriate labor organization;
  • A copy of contract with a major U.S. sports team or a league;
  • Evidence of at least two of the following:
    • Significant participation in a major U.S. sports league in prior seasons;

    • Participation in an international competition with a national team;

    • Evidence of significant participation for a U.S. college of university in intercollegiate competition in the prior season;
    • A letter from an official of the sports team detailing how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
    • The alien or the team has international ranking; or
    • A significant honor or award the alien or team has received.

Entertainment groups: The P-1 visa is also for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. to perform as a member of a foreign-based entertainment group. The group must have been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. The alien must have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group and must provide functions integral to the group's performance.

Period Of Stay

Individuals may stay for the time required to finish the performance, competition or event for up to five years. Extensions may be granted in order to finish the performance, competition or event but the maximum allowable stay is 10 years.

Groups may stay for up to one year to complete the performance, competition or an event. Extensions can be granted in increments of up to one year.

Essential support personnel may stay for up to one year in order to complete the performance, activity or event. Extensions may be granted but the total stay cannot exceed 10 years.

You can contact us online or call 949-379-8483. We serve clients in Irvine and throughout Orange County.

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