P VISA To The US – Who Qualifies


The P visa is a temporary visa, essentially meant for athletes and cultural performers of international fame who travel to compete and perform on an international platform. This category of visas is petitioned by organizations that employ such athletes and performers. Examples cover Olympic sportsman, gaming sport experts, and stage performers of international repute. In several instances, the P visa is used as an alternative to the O visa with some differences.

What is the Filing Fee for a P Visa?

  • The cost for filing a P visa is $460.00 and needs to paid by the employer petitioning for the performers and/or athletes
  • Premium processing is available wherein adjudication will be completed in 15 days. This comes at an additional cost of $1,440.00

Other Features of the P visa

  • Support personnel may travel with the teams on a P4 dependent visa
  • Once the P visa is granted, they are permitted to do a part-time study course in the US.
  • Since the P visa should be petitioned by the employer of the individual/group, it is tied to that employer. Should the performer work for multiple employers, he has to have a P visa for each of those employers.
  • If the purpose of visit is to perform in the US, applying for any other visa can serve in a denial.
  • If found that this was done fraudulently, there can be severe penalties like debarment to enter the US.
  • Always ensure sponsorship from the employer
  • If the entertainment is accruing productive payment for the performers in the US, then they should petition for a P visa only. Coming in on another visa like the B2 visa will result in denial at the Port of entry among other penalties.

What are the Different Types of P Visas?

There are various types of P visas which are applied based on their specific requirements.

P1-A Visa

The P1-A visa is designed specifically for athletes of international fame and caliber who perform at specific events and competitions. The eligibility requirements for a P1-A visa are:

  • The event the athlete is participating in should be recognized internationally;
  • Only professional athletes qualify for the P visa;
  • Alternately, the O visa is reserved for elite players only.

How long is the Validity Period for P1-A Visa?

  • Initially granted for five years
  • Extensions are granted in increments of five additional years
  • The maximum granted to a P1-A visa petitioner is ten years in total.
  • These are granted for individual petitioners, so if the temporary nature of the competition changes, the nature of the visa type should also change after proper notification to USCIS.

Can a P1-A Visa Lead to Permanent Residency in the US?

P1-A visa is not a general path to a green card leading to permanent residency in the US. A P1-A petitioner will have to adjust his status by converting to EB-1 specialty status. If everything goes through and he meets all EB-1 eligibility requirements, it could put him on the path to US permanent residency.

What are Group P1-A visas?

This is meant for an entire team looking to participate at an event or competition of international stature in the US. The Group P1 visa is granted for one year only and extensions are approved at the discretion of USCIS. The total stay period is only meant until the completion of the event.

What are the documents Required to File for a P1-A Visa?

  • All financial statements pertaining to the event including remuneration to the participants;
  • All marketing collateral for the event like brochures, catalogs, etc.
  • Approved Form I-797;
  • Passports of the participants, individual and group – this should have a minimum of a six-month validity;
  • Any and all publicity material like newspaper mentions and TV appearances.
    P1-B Visa

P1-B Visa

The P1-B visa is meant for groups and bigger teams performing or participating in an event in the US. This could be an entire troupe of performers. However, this performing group should have substantial global recognition but also enjoy national fame.

How Long is the Validity Period for P1-B Visas?

  • P1-B visas are granted for a year with indefinite extensions as long as the nature of the original petition has not changed.
  • The performing group or competing team of sportsmen are allowed to stay until the completion of the event.
  • The validity of the P1-B visa ends with the end of the contract of the participating event.

What are the Required Documents for P1-B visa?

  • Contract with parent organization with dates of employment;
  • A valid consultation document from the Labor organization;
  • Evidence that the performing group is recognized and has national as well as international acclaim;
  • Valid passports of all performers and athletes;
  • Approved Form I-797;
  • Copy of traveling itinerary;
  • Any supporting documents from pervious performances;
  • All marketing collateral including media coverage and video sales of the event, current and previous;
  • Documents showing evidence of performing at other establishments of repute;
  • Critiques and ratings from public portals;
  • Salary slips showing remuneration of all participants

P3 Visa

This is a unique visa in that it is reserved for cultural or cross-cultural events. It is issued to individuals for the purpose of either developing or coaching, and representing a unique ethnic and regional folk talent or skill-set. The outstanding feature of the P3 visa is that it is reserved for cultural events only.

How Long is the P3 Visa Valid For?

P3 is issued for a period of one year and may have indefinite extensions. Petitioners can stay in the US until the completion of the event.

What are the Documents Required for P3 Visa?

  • All financial documents pertaining to the cultural event
  • Valid passports of all cultural performers;
  • Approved Form I-797;
  • Evidence substantiating the entertainer’s talent and the uniqueness of the cultural event;
  • All marketing collateral including media coverage and video sales of the event, advertisements- current and previous;

If you are looking to file for a P visa, talk to an able immigration lawyer at Lawbench.