P Visas - Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers
The P nonimmigrant visa classification is divided into four sub-classifications that permit temporary employment in the United States by qualified athletes, artists, and entertainers.
The types of P visas are:
- P-1A visas for individual athletes and athletic teams with international recognition in their sport;
- P-1B visas for members of an internationally recognized foreign-based entertainment groups;
- P-2 visas for persons who will perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, under a reciprocal exchange program;
- P-3 visas for persons who will perform, teach, or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, in a culturally unique program.
While the P visa classification is similar to the O-1 visa classification (which applies to people with extraordinary abilities in their field), its eligibility threshold is significantly less demanding. In contrast, however, one significant limitation of the P classification is that it is only available for a limited number of fields. A summary of the various P visa options is included below.
P-1A Internationally Recognized Athletes
The P-1 classification applies to persons who are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.
P-1B Visas for Members of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Groups
The P-1B visa classification permits members of a foreign-based entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time to come to the United States temporarily to undertake a performance or performance itinerary.
P-2 Visas for Individual Performers or Groups Performing Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program
The P-2 visa classification permits foreign nationals to temporarily perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.
P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program
The P-3 visa classification permits and individual to temporarily perform, teach, or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.