Performing Arts Visa (P)

The P non-immigrant category is reserved for athletes (who compete individually or as part of a team), artists, or entertainers seeking admission to the United States for a specific event or performance. There are several types of P visas:


Individual Athletes & Entertainers

  • Athletes: The standard is "international recognition" which is a somewhat lesser standard than for O-1 athletes who must show "sustained national or international acclaim." The petition must include evidence of at least two of the following:

    • Significant participation in a prior US major league season
    • Participation in international competition with a national team
    • Significant participation in a prior US college/university season in intercollegiate competition
    • Written statement from a major US sports league or official of the sportís governing body detailing the alienís or teamís international recognition
    • Written statement from the sports media or recognized expert
    • International ranking
    • Significant honors or awards in the sport

  • Entertainers: P-1 visa may be granted to members of an entertainment group provided the group has been recognized internationally as outstanding for a sustained period of time. Each member of the group must have had sustained a substantial relationship with the group for at least 1 year and be entering the US solely for the purpose of performing with that group. The petition must include evidence that the group has met at least three of the following:

    • Has or will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events with distinguished reputations
    • International acclaim and recognition for outstanding achievements
    • Has or will perform as a starring or leading group for organizations with distinguished reputations
    • Record of commercial or critically acclaimed successes
    • Significant recognition from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts
    • Has commanded or will command a high salary or substantial remuneration in comparison to others similarly situated


This designation applies to artists and performers who perform individually or as part of a group, pursuant to a reciprocal exchange program between two or more US organizations and one or more of such organizations in other countries providing for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.


This designation applies to culturally unique artists and entertainers, individually or as a group, coming to the US to develop, interpret, represent, coach or teach their particular art or discipline. "Culturally unique" means an artistic style unique to a particular nation, country, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe or other group of persons. Activities or events may be commercial or noncommercial. Evidence to support a P-3 petition must include:

  • Affidavits or testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of the group or individual entertainer; or,
  • Documentation that performance of the alien or group is culturally unique; and,
  • Evidence that all performances or presentations will be culturally unique events.

Other Considerations:

All P categories permit "essential support" personnel. Admission for all P categories is limited to a specific performance, competition or event, defined as an athletic competition or season, tournament, tour, exhibit, project, entertainment event or engagement.

Peer group consultation for all P categories is mandatory before any P petition can be approved.

Period of Admission:

  • P-1: individual athletes, up to 5 years
  • P-2/3: up to the time needed to complete event, not to exceed one year
  • Support Personnel: up to one year

Return Costs:

Petitioner is liable for reasonable cost of return transportation abroad after the event concludes.

About Maura Petersen - Family Immigration - Fiance / Spousal (K) - Extraordinary Ability (EB1 and O1)
Intra Company Transferee (L1) - Performing Arts (P) - Religious Workers (R1 and SR1)
Waivers - Disclaimer - Home

The Law Office of Maura B. Petersen
331 Soquel Ave.
Suite 208
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Tel/Fax: 831-469-0929

  © 2007-2009 The Law Office of Maura B. Petersen. All rights reserved

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.