The P Visa Category for Athletes, Entertainment Groups, & Artists
P Visas are available for international artists, athletes and entertainers who wish to perform in the United States. Immigration Law Associates, P.C. has had many P Visa success stories and our attorneys are knowledgeable in the P Visa requirements. For example, recently we have obtained approvals for several international Taekwondo athletes under the P-1 visa category. The athletes have been members of national teams and successfully participated in international competitions all over the world. As a result, these Taekwondo athletes have been able to enter the United States to participate in various competitions, as well as work and coach at Taekwondo schools.
The P-1 visa is for: 1) internationally recognized athletes or 2) members of an internationally recognized athletic team or 3) members of an internationally recognized entertainment group. Please note, the P-1 classification is available only to members of foreign-based entertainment groups, not individual entertainers. In addition, the P-1 alien must be coming to perform and/or compete. The P-1 petition is filed in conjunction with the I-129 form and submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In support of P-1 petitions, the P-1 alien must submit copies of their international awards, certificates of accomplishment, and photographs documenting their activities and accomplishments. In addition, a consultation discussing the alien's ability from a U.S. labor organization is also required. For entertainment groups, the petition should include documentation that the group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. In addition, for entertainment groups, the USCIS also accepts evidence such as reviews, newspaper articles, magazine articles, advertisements, etc. P-1 petitions can be approved for up to 5 years for an individual athlete, or the period of time determined by the USCIS director to be necessary to complete the event or activity.
The P-2 visa is for an alien coming to the United States to perform as an artist or entertainer individually or as part of a group or to perform as an integral part of the performance of such group, and who seeks to perform under a reciprocal exchange program. Currently, there are only three P-2 reciprocal agreements that have been negotiated: 1) one between the American Federation of Musicians (U.S.) and the American Federation of Musicians (Canada); 2) one between the Actor's Equity Association (U.S.) and the Canadian Actor's Equity Association; and 3) one between the Actor's Equity Association and the British Actors' Equity Association. P-2 group performers can be included on a single petition, but the essential support aliens must be on a separate petition from the performers. Some of the required P-2 documentation includes a copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the U.S. organization(s) sponsoring the alien and the organization(s) in a foreign country and a statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of U.S. artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which classification is sought. P-2 visas are approved with a validity period only necessary to complete the event or activity, and not to exceed one year.
P-3 Visas are for aliens coming to the U.S. solely to perform, teach, or coach under a program that is culturally unique. The required documentation for this visa includes: affidavits or testimonials regarding the beneficiaries; skills and the cultural uniqueness of the entertainment, the consultation, and evidence that all performances in the engagement are cultural in nature. P-3 visas are approved with a validity period only necessary to complete the event or activity, and not to exceed one year.
• The Road to Faster Adjudications: On June 1, 2001 the USCIS introduced a premium processing service that allows P Visa petitioners and beneficiaries to pay a $1,000 premium-processing fee (in addition to regular filing fees) for expedited processing of their P Visa petitions. In return for the $1,000 fee, the USCIS will guarantee processing of petitions within 15 calendar days of receipt of the petition. Applications filed concurrently by dependents of a beneficiary choosing to use the Premium Processing Service will also be processed within 15 days without an additional $1,000 processing fee. If the USCIS does not issue an approval notice, notice of intent to deny, request for evidence, or notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within 15 days of physical receipt of a petition, the Service will refund the $1000 fee but will still expeditiously process the case.
Immigration Law Associates handles the full range of visa categories for both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. Please contact our office to discuss your visa options.
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