P Is For Performing – P Non-immigrant Visa Overview
The P Non-immigrant visa category has four (4) separate classifications, P-1, P-2, P-3 and P-4. The main distinction between O and P visa is that the P visa is limited to a specific event whether it be a competition, sports season, tour, exhibition, a performance even. This limitation does not limit the individual or group to short vacations, promotional appearances, delays or layovers associated with the underlying event the visa was originally granted for. Gaps in performance such as a gap of 14-45 days between any two performances should be discussed with an attorney as these gaps without proper documentation can cause for an RFE (request for more evidence) as may be viewed as separate events requiring separate petitions.
P-1 Visa Category – Internationally known athletes, either individually or as a group (team), and entertainment groups. For athletes the achievement standard for P-1 Athletes is lower than that of an O-1 Athlete; however the P-1 category is only available to athletes currently competing whereas O-1 Athletes do not have to be competing currently.
P-2 Visa Category – Temporary mutually exchanged artists. This category is rarely used as its practical use is limiting. The only organizations currently using this program are Actors Equity, American Federation of Musicians, and The International Council of Air Shows.
P-3 Visa Category – Culturally unique artists or entertainers that will teach their respective field of expertise. To be considered culturally unique, the art must be unique to a particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other group of persons.
P-1S, 2S, 3S Visa Category – Essential Support personnel. These personnel must be highly trained in the support of the P non-immigrant. The services provided must also not be readily available by US workers.
P-4 Visa Category – Spouses and dependents of P non-immigrants.