A U.S. employer, a U.S. sponsoring organization, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent must file the petition. Self-petition is not permitted.
A petition for a P visa must be filed with the USCIS by filing the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS. The petition must be sent to the appropriate Regional Service Center of USCIS.
The petition allows the USCIS to review the services to be performed and to determine the eligibility for P visa classification.
It may take 2 to 8 weeks to process the application. If the application is approved, USCIS will mail the Form I-797, Notification of Approval, to the petitioner and to the beneficiary. USCIS will also send the notification of the approval to the appropriate U.S. embassy/consulate. The approval notice will contain the beneficiary’s name, the classification, and the petition’s validity duration. If the petition is denied, an employer or the sponsor may seek an appeal.
The following documents must be submitted with a P visa petition:
- Copy of a written contract between the petitioner and the alien. If there is no written contract, a thorough description of their oral agreement or a summary of the terms of employment can be used.
- A written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization.
Such an opinion is not binding on U.S. immigration, but will be given considerable weight.
- Duration (the start and end dates) of the events or activities
- Description of the nature of the events the P-visa holder will participate in or the activities he/she will perform
- Classification specific:
- A P visa petition can’t be filed for more than 6 months in advance of the actual need for the P visa worker’s services.
- Petition must include an itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances, if the P visa worker will perform services in more than one location.
- If the P visa worker, within the same time period, will perform services for more than 1 employer, each employer must file a separate petition, unless an agent files the petition.
- Beneficiaries may be substituted in approved P1, P2 and P3 petitions for groups.
- It is possible to include more than 1 beneficiary in a P visa petition if they are members of a group seeking classification based on the reputation of the group as an entity, or if they will provide essential support to P1, P2 and P3 visa holders.
- If the P1 visa athlete is traded from one organization to another, employment authorization for the athlete will automatically continue for 30 days after acquisition by the new organization, and the new organization is expected to file a new petition within that time frame.
- If there are any changes to the terms and conditions in the employment of the P visa worker that may affect the eligibility for a P visa, an amended petition must be filed.
- If a P visa worker would like to change the employer/sponsor, the new employer/sponsor must file both a new petition and a request to extend the P visa worker’s authorized stay in the U.S. The P visa worker may not start working for the new employer until the petition and the extension have both been approved.
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