P Visas are for those aliens who wish to come to the United States in order to perform in athletics or entertainment but do not qualify for a type O visa. There are three main types of P visas including P-1, P-2, and P-3. P-1 visas are for groups of athletes or entertainers. P-2 visas are for those athletes or entertainers who come to the U.S. as part of a reciprocal (exchange) program. P-3 visas are for those individuals who are coming to the U.S. to teach, learn, develop, or participate in cultural events.
P-1 Visas are for entertainers or athletes who are part of a group. The group must be recognized as an outstanding group internationally, and must also have a sustained period of achievement. The individual seeking the P-1 visa must have been a member of the group for at least a year prior to the application and at least 75% of the group must have been together as a group for at least a year. In some cases, this requirement may be waived.
The following may be used as evidence in the application for P-1 Visas for athletes:
- Participation during the prior season with a U.S. major sporting league or collegiate team
- Participation on a national team with international events
- Written statement from an official in the governing body of the participatory sport
- Written statement from a recognized expert as to how the applicant or team is internationally recognized
- Special ranking showing that the participant is highly ranked
- Team awards showing that the participant or team has received a significant award
The following may be used as evidence in the application for P-1 Visas for entertainers:
- The entertainment group has a starring role in events or productions
- The entertainment group has international recognition
- The group has attained commercial success
P-2 Visas are meant for entertainers or artists coming to the U.S. as part of an exchange program. A copy of the reciprocal exchange agreement must be provided or a statement from the sponsoring organization must be presented. In addition, you must show that the U.S. entertainers involved in the agreement have similar skills.
P-3 Visas are for entertainers or artists that are coming to the U.S. to coach, teach, and develop skills or to participate in a cultural event. The supporting evidence required to obtain a P-3 visa include affidavits from recognized experts who can verify the authenticity of the skills of the applicant.
In all three categories, P Visas may be granted to those who are support personnel for the applicants. The support personnel must also provide evidence of their skills in order to obtain a visa.