Work Visa for Athletes, Artists and Entertainers


Are you an athlete, artist or entertainer coming to the United States? P-visa may be a good fit for you. 

P-visa is a category of non-immigrant visa granted to the athletes, artists and entertainers residing outside the United States of America. These visas are normally granted for taking part in various athletic events and so on.

P-visa is classified into four different subcategories.

(i) P-1: These type of visas are granted to the individuals or team athletes or members of an entertainment group, which are recognized internationally. Annually, about 25,000 P-visas are issued.

(ii) P-2: These type of visas are granted to the artists or entertainers performing under a reciprocal exchange program.   

(iii) P-3: These type of visas are granted to the artists or entertainers performing under a program that is culturally unique. 

(iv) P-4: These visas are granted to the spouse or child under the age of 21 of a P-1, P-2, P-3 alien, and who is accompanying P visa holder.

Obtaining a P-visa is not easy. It may take several months. However, the premium processing is available. The individual must use the premium processing many times in order to attend or participate in the respective events or competition in time. The P-visas are not issued overnight. So it is wise to plan ahead in order to obtain a P-visa. On the basis of the duration of a specific competition, event or performance, the P-visas are admitted. Therefore, to have a detailed schedule of the event is a must. The longer the schedule of events, the longer will be the duration of the visa. However, if the contract is singed for 1 year, the authorization for staying in the United States of America is also for 1 year even if the schedule for the event or competition is a bit longer.

The P-visa holder can temporally come to the United States of America and leave before the authorized date is over. At the same time, the P-visa holder can lawfully apply to the proper institution,USCIS, for becoming a permanent resident of the United States of America. If for some reasons the P-visa is terminated, then the U.S employer or U.S agent must pay off the individuals. This includes the cost of transportation back to the home country of the P-visa holder. The P-visa is limited to certain artists, entertainers and athletes. That’s why the eligibility standard of the P-visa is lower than that of the so called O-visa. P-visa holders must enter the United States territory temporarily.

In order to get a P-visa, a written advisory opinion is needed regarding the nature of work to be performed in the United States. The worker’s qualification is also needed. A petition is to be filed with USCIS for determining the eligibility of the P-visa. Then, an application is sent to the U.S embassy or Consulate abroad for obtaining a P-visa. And finally the worker enters the U.S territory.

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