The P categories of visas such as P-1, P-2, and P-3 are for non-immigrants that will be coming to the U.S. to perform in athletics or entertainment.
Obtaining a P visa can take several months. Fortunately, premium processing is available. The P applicant must use “premium processing” many times in order to be able to make it to the event or competition in time. Since such visas are not issued overnight, it is advisable to plan ahead in order to obtain a P visa.
P visa holders are generally admitted according to the duration of a specific competition, event, or performance. Therefore, it is very important to have a detailed schedule of events. The longer the schedule of events, the longer the admission will be. Moreover, if the contract is signed just for 1 year, your authorized stay may be just for 1 year even if the schedule of events is for longer than 1 year.
The P visa holder may arrive temporarily into the U.S., intending to depart voluntarily at the end of the authorized stay, and at the same time, may lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the U.S. Applying for permanent residence is not applicable for support personnel.
If the P visa holder is terminated, other than by voluntary resignation, the U.S. employer and/or the U.S. agent must pay the costs of transportation back to the home country of the P visa holder.
P Visa vs. O Visa
Eligibility standards for the P visa are lower than that for the O visa. However, the P visa is limited to certain artists, entertainers, and athletes. On the other hand, O visa holders may engage in the fields of arts, athletics, business, education, science, or even in motion picture and television productions.
P visa workers must seek to enter the U.S. temporarily and are required to have a residence abroad that they don’t intend to abandon. O1 visa workers don’t have to maintain a residence abroad.
The O visa usually allows the holders to stay longer than P visa holders.
P Visa Categories
- P-1 Visa: Athlete or Member of an Athletic Team
Internationally recognized athlete, individually or as part of a group or team
- P-1 Visa: Member of Entertainment Group
A member of an internationally recognized entertainment group
- P-2 Visa: Artists and Entertainers in Exchange Programs
Artist or entertainer coming to perform under a reciprocal exchange program
- P-3 Visa: Culturally Unique Artists and Entertainers
Artists and entertainers coming solely to perform, teach, or coach under a culturally unique program
- P-4 Visa: Dependents
Spouse and/or unmarried children under the age 21 of primary P1, P2, P3 visa holder
- P Visa: Essential Support Personnel
- Get a written advisory opinion from the appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of work to be performed and P visa worker’s qualifications.
- File a petition with USCIS to determine P visa eligibility.
- Apply for a P visa at the US embassy/consulate.
- P visa worker enters the United States.
Extension of Petition and Stay
It is possible to file an extension for completing or continuing the activity or event specified in the original petition.
The employer or the sponsor must file both a request to extend the validity of the P visa worker’s original petition and a request to extend the P visa worker’s authorized duration of stay. Form I-129 must be filed and it must be accompanied by a statement explaining the reasons for the extension. The P visa worker must be physically present in the U.S. at the time of filing for the extension of stay.
The employer or the sponsor will send Form I-797, Notice of Action.
An individual P1 visa holder can get an extension of stay up to 5 years at a time for a total period of stay, not to exceed, 10 years.
Other P1, P2, and P3 visa holders, including their support personnel, can get an extension in increments of 1 year to continue or complete the same event or activity for which they were admitted.
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