Everything You Need To Know About The P Visa

Everything You Need to Know About the P-Visa

The United States offers immigrants several types of temporary employment visas, including the P-visa. A P-visa is an employment visa granted to non-citizen artists, athletes, entertainers, and their children and spouses. The “P” in the term “P-visa” refers to the fact that P-visas are in section P of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act. Immigrants who come to the United States with a P-visa have the opportunity to stay for up to five years to pursue their artistic, athletic, or entertainment endeavors. 

If you are interested in immigrating to the United States using a P-visa, the experienced immigration attorneys at Canero Immigration Law Firm can help. Our team of Miami immigration attorneys offers clients cutting-edge technology and skilled support staff. If you are an artist, athlete, or entertainer, you must submit a thorough and accurate P-visa application. Contact our Miami law firm today to schedule an initial consultation and learn how we can help you secure a P-visa today.


P-1 Visa Classifications:

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves a maximum of 25,000 P visas every year. Federal immigration law provides for the following four different P-1 visa classifications:

  • P-1 visas are available for internationally recognized athletes or entertainers. Individual or team athletes or members of an entertainment group. The individual or group must be internationally recognized to qualify for a P-1 visa. 
  • P-2 visas are available for entertainers or artists who perform under a reciprocal exchange program.
  • P-3 visas are available for entertainers or artists traveling to the United States to teach, coach, or perform under a culturally unique program. 
  • P-4 visas are available for children under 21 and spouses of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien. The P-4 visa applicants must be following or accompanying the qualifying P-visa applicant.


What are the Eligibility Requirements of a P-Visa?

The USCIS awards P-visas to applicants who are internationally recognized athletic teams or athletes entering the U.S. When applicants do not qualify for an O-visa, a P-visa may be a viable option. O-visas require an applicant to prove that he or she has an “extraordinary ability,” which can be challenging to prove. Individuals who apply for P-visas must compete or perform at an internationally-recognized level. 

Applicants will need to submit formal documentation that describes evidence of their qualifying skills. If the applicant is applying for a P-2 visa must provide documentation of the reciprocal exchange program. Applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • The applicant must be 18 years of age or older
  • The applicant must be qualified to perform the kind of work specified on their application
  • The applicant must not have resided in the United States during the calendar year before their P-3 visa arrival


How to Apply for a P-Visa

P-visa applicants must submit a copy of their contract. They must also submit a written consultation with a relevant labor organization in his or her field of employment. For example, if an applicant is applying to come to the United States to play on a sports team, he or she must submit the team contract in his or her application. 

The application should also include evidence demonstrating the team’s significance or the significance of the individual applicant. The following types of documents are helpful when applying for a P-visa:

  • Proof of prior participation in a U.S. intercollegiate competition or U.S. sports league
  • Evidence that the individual placed in international rankings
  • Evidence of the artist’s international acclaim 
  • Evidence of the receipt of international prizes or awards
  • Proof of a high level of critical acclaim, success, or international recognition


What is the Required Consultation Letter?

The USCIS requires that P-visa applicants submit a consultation letter. The letter must establish that the group or artists are Internationally Renowned for a P-1 visa or Culturally Unique in the case of a P-3 visa. 


How to Meet the “International Recognition” Requirement 

When Applying for a P-1 visa, the applicant must prove that he or she is an artist, entertainer, or athlete with international recognition. An applicant can establish international recognition by documenting a one-time achievement by the group, such as the nomination for or receipt of a significant international prize or award. Or, the applicant must prove that he or she meets three of the following conditions:

  • The applicant has and will perform in a starring or leading group in an event or production with a distinguished reputation
  • The applicant enjoys international acclaim or recognition for outstanding achievements
  • The applicant will perform as a starring group or leading performance for an organization with a distinguished reputation
  • The applicant has received significant recognition from critics, governments, organizations, or other recognized experts
  • The applicant has commanded or will command a high salary or additional payment relative to other performers or athletes who are in similar situations.


What is The P-Visa Duration of Stay?

When the USCIS approves the P-visa, the initial period of stay can be for up to five years. The USCIS can issue an extension of stay for an additional five-year period for a total of 10 years or less. The duration of stay for all other types of P-visas depends on the time necessary for the applicant to complete the event, performance, or competition. Typically, USCIS approves P-visas for up to one year. The USCIS will grant one-year extensions of P-visa holders to complete the event or competition mentioned in the original application.


Miami P-Visa Application Attorneys

If you are an athlete, entertainer, or artist who will be performing or competing in the United States, a P-visa could be right for you. Contact the Canero Immigration Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you obtain a P-visa.

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