The type P visa is ideal for all those national foreigners who are artists, athletes, entertainers or presenters who wish to travel to the United States temporarily.
Processing a visa does not require the assistance of a lawyer. However, making a mistake can lead to the denial of the visa, which is why it is more than recommended. Our New Jersey immigration lawyers will help you navigate this entire process effectively.
Table of Contents
The United States P-Type Visa In Detail
The P visa is an American non-immigrant visa and is only available to athletes (amateur or professional), artists, entertainers and presenters who are individuals or who belong to a group under a cultural program.
We invite you to read our article on what are the different types of US visas. Here you can find out which visas you need or which you may qualify for.
Characteristics Of The Type P Visa
- The P visa is divided into several classifications: P-1, P-2, P-3 and P-4.
- A P visa holder may travel in and out of the United States or remain continuously in the country for the allotted time.
- The time it takes for a P visa to be issued is usually significantly quicker.
- The holder of this visa can legally work in the US for their sponsor. However, if the individuals wish to change jobs, they need to obtain another visa.
- Allows spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of the visa holder to accompany them.
- The length of stay in the United States is long. In addition, athletes can be admitted for a period of up to 5 years with an extension of another 5 years.
Did you like your stay in the US? It is possible that you may be able to become a lawful permanent resident. Check our article on how to get a Green Card to assess your chances of becoming a resident.
Types Of P Visa In The United States
The P visa has several classifications:
- P-1A for athletes. The P-1A classification applies to foreign national athletes who wish to travel to the US temporarily to participate in athletic competition.
- P-1B for members of an artistic group. Applies to individuals who wish to travel to the US temporarily to perform as part of an established artistic group for a minimum of one year and have been recognized internationally.
- P-2 for artists or members of an artistic group. It applies to individual or group artists or entertainers who will temporarily travel to the US to perform under a reciprocal exchange program.
- P-3 for artists or presenters under a cultural program. Applies to performers or artists who wish to temporarily travel to the US to perform, train, or teach as performers or artists under a unique cultural program.
- P-4 for dependents. This classification is for the spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of P-1, P-2, and P-3 visa holders. P-4 visa holders will not be able to work in the country.
Highly qualified essential support personnel who are part of the success of the P-1, P-2 or P-3 visa holder’s filing (individual or as part of a team) may also qualify for a P visa.
How Is The Type P Visa Applied For?
In order to apply for the P visa, the visa beneficiary must have a US sponsor or employer. That sponsor must file the petition on their behalf with USCIS using Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
After USCIS approves the Form I-129, the alien will be able to file their P visa application at a US embassy or consulate.
Are you traveling to the US soon and don’t know the requirements to legally enter the United States? We invite you to read them in our respective blog.
What Are The Requirements Of The Type P Visa?
The P visa requirements are divided among its multiple categories. Here we detail it in depth:
The applicant’s purpose is to compete in a specific and temporary sports competition. To do this, the applicant must be an athlete who meets the following criteria:
Is A Professional
If the alien is traveling to the US to be employed as an athlete, they must be from:
- A team that belongs to an association of 6 or more professional sports teams and whose total combined revenue exceeds $10 million per year.
- Any minor league team that is affiliated with the association.
Will Compete In An Individual Event
The athlete must have a level of performance with international recognition. For it:
- You must have a high level of success or achievement in a sport.
- They have evidence of their high level of skill and recognition substantially above the usual.
- Their achievements are recognized in more than one country.
Be Part Of An Internationally Recognized Team
The athlete belongs to a team that, as a unit, has achieved significant international recognition.
Work As A Coach
The athlete is part of a team or franchise that is located in the US and is a member of a foreign league or association. The league must meet the following requirements:
- It consists of 15 or more amateur sports teams.
- Must be at the highest level of amateur performance for that sport in the foreign country.
- A significant number of league or association players are recruited by a major sports league or minor league affiliate.
Skate On The Ice
Ice skaters can qualify in this category. They can be professional or amateur athletes who will perform individually or as part of a group.
- At least 75% of the members of the artistic group must have had a substantial and continuous relationship with the group for at least one year.
- The artistic group is internationally recognized and has reached a high level of achievement in the area. Such achievements are evidenced by substantial above-average recognition.
- You have a written inquiry from a labor organization.
- It has an itinerary with the dates and places of the presentations.
- You have a copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiaries or a summary of the terms of said contract.
- Evidence that the group has performed continuously for at least one year.
- You have a written statement from the petitioner listing all the members of the group and their respective dates on which they were hired.
- Evidence that the group is internationally recognized for a substantial and continuous time.
All this can be verified with 3 evidences of different criteria. Contact our firm for further information.
- Evidence that a United States labor organization participated in the negotiation or agreed to the reciprocal exchange of the foreign artists and presenters.
- Evidence that the foreign and American artist or entertainer were subject to a reciprocal exchange agreement with comparable skills and similar terms and conditions of employment.
- Written consultation by an appropriate labor organization.
- Copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the sponsoring US organization and the organization in the foreign country that will receive the US artists or entertainers.
- Statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of American artists or entertainers and how it relates to the petition for the classification being sought.
If the events or performances are held in different locations, for the P-2 visa, an itinerary must also be submitted.
To be eligible for this classification, the P-3 visa applicant must perform, coach, teach, or represent an ethnic, theatrical, cultural, musical, or artistic performance or event that may be unique or traditional. In addition, the applicant must provide:
- Documents that demonstrate the functions or presentations of the event.
- Written consultation of the appropriate labor organization.
- Copy of any contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms established in an oral agreement.
- Explanation about the activities, copy of the itinerary, validity dates, events and termination of events.
- Affidavits, expert letters or testimonials certifying the authenticity of the applicant’s or group’s skills to present, train or teach traditional and/or unique arts.
What Documents Must I Submit To Apply For The P Visa?
The documents to submit for this visa vary depending on your classification. Such documents are:
Employers Or Sponsors
- Inquire in writing about the appropriate labor organization. Such inquiry must describe the work or services to be performed in the US and your qualifications for such employment.
- If there is no labor organization, this requirement is waived.
- Copy of the written contract or verbal summary of the terms of employment.
- Explanation of the events or activities, start dates, end dates of events or activities and a copy of the itinerary for such activities.
- Any additional documents that are required for the P-1A category.
Internationally Recognized Individuals Or Teams
They must submit a copy of a contract provided by a major sports league or team in the US or in an individual sport with international recognition in the sport.
In addition, at least two pieces of evidence based on specific criteria must be included. Contact our firm for more information in this regard.
- Evidence establishing that the athlete will work for a team in the US that is a member of an association of 6 or more professional sports teams.
- Evidence that the total combined revenue of the association’s teams exceeds $10 million per year.
- Evidence that the association governs the conduct of its members and regulates its contests and exhibitions.
For Minor League
If working for a minor league team affiliated with the association in good standing, the applicant must include:
- Contracts or agreements.
- Marketing and promotional material from the league or association identifying the affiliation of the minor league team.
- Statements from association or league officials detailing and confirming team affiliation.
- Articles or reviews by sports media outlets showing that the team is affiliated with a qualifying league or association.
Amateur Athletes Or Coaches
The employer or sponsor must submit evidence that the alien wishes to travel to the US to perform as an athlete or coach as part of a US team or franchise. The following evidence is required:
- Established sports media articles and reports demonstrating the level of performance of the league or association.
- Contracts, bylaws, copies of rules and any other documents from the league office that demonstrate the level of performance of the teams.
Theatrical Ice Skaters
Ice skaters must submit evidence that they will perform individually or as part of a group in a theatrical ice skating production. This includes:
- Reviews, magazines, descriptions, newspapers, and other established sports or entertainment media.
- Evidence of previous achievements and awards.
- Itinerary or schedule of the performances.
How Long Can I Stay With The P Visa In The United States?
Individual athletes with a P-1A visa may remain in the United States for as long as necessary to complete their event or competition. However, it should not exceed 5 years. Athletic groups with a P-1A visa cannot exceed one year.
Members of entertainment groups on P-1B visas, artists or members of an artistic group on P-2 visas, and P-3 visa holders have an initial period in the US of up to one year.
Staying in the United States longer than is permitted can lead to serious immigration consequences. Such consequences are deepened in our article on “How long can we stay in the US on a tourist visa“.
Can I Extend The P Visa?
P-1, P-2, and P-3 visa holders can extend their time in the United States. This extension is as follows:
- P-1A holders: Individual athletes can extend their stay up to 5 years with a maximum of 10 years in total. Support staff for P-1A holders can also extend their stay for this same time.
- Athletic groups and their support staff are only limited to increments of up to one year.
- P-1B, P-2 and P-3 holders: Only limited to increments of up to one year to continue the event or activity.
To extend the stay, a Form I-539 , Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status, must be filed with USCIS.
Can You Change Employers With A P Visa?
Applicants may change employers. However, they will only be able to do so after the new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS. They will not be able to start their new employment with the new employer without the I-129 being approved.
How Much Does It Cost To Apply For The P Visa?
The cost of filing Form I-129 with USCIS is $460 for each petition. Additionally, the P visa application fee is $190. Other additional charges may apply depending on the relationship of the national foreigner’s country of origin and the US.
How Long Does It Take To Process The P Visa?
After submitting the P visa application, the waiting time can take between 3 to 6 months. However, it is possible to file Form I-907, application for premium processing to reduce the time of delivery of the visa. This form has a cost of $2,500.
Talk with an experienced immigration attorney for your P visa application
If you wish to travel to the US on a P visa (regardless of your classification), or if your organization needs to bring national foreign artists or athletes to the US, our firm will be able to help you.
Curbelo Law’s team of professionals has helped hundreds of national foreigners obtain this visa. Our attorney Carolina T. Curbelo has more than 10 years of experience in all types of immigration cases.
Call us today to let us know about your case so we can start examining your chances of entering the US legally.