‎P Visa for Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers

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How does the P visa work?

The P visa is only for artists, athletes and service providers essential to them. It is not a simple visa to apply, as it requires extensive documentation and information to be provided to the consulate.

P Visa - For Athletes, Artists, and Entertainment Industry Members

Obtaining an American visa is mandatory for every non American who wants to enter the United States, whether for tourism, business or work. Brazilians have a wide variety of visas to the US, among them there is the P Visa type which is specific for athletes, artists and members of the entertainment industry. It is worth remembering that this type of visa includes P-1, P-2 and P-3.

P visas are temporary work visas and allow an individual to engage in certain types of activities in the US that are related to unique skills and talents. Learn a little more about each of them:

Visa P-1

The P-1 visa is intended to allow entry into the US for top-tier athletes. To qualify for this type of visa, the citizen must prove that he/she is an internationally recognized athlete in a specific sport. It must also be shown that the person has a contract with a US league or an internationally recognized event.

It is necessary to present evidence of international recognition, which may include evidence that the person has competed at an international level, has ever been on a major US team, has been part of an international ranking, or something like that. The P-1 visa allows an athlete to remain in the United States for up to five years and a team or team for a period of up to six months.

How to apply for a P-1 visa

The P-1 visa requires the US employer to apply to the USCIS. The person then needs to visit a US embassy or consulate to fill out the form.

Receive a job offer in the US

A visa applicant must receive an invitation to attend or present an event in the US. If there is no payment for the event, another type of visa may be required. But if the person is being paid, then he must apply for the P-1 Visa.

Wait for the employer to send a petition

The US employer must file nonimmigrant worker petition. It is necessary for the employer to pay some fees and attach them together with supporting documentation in order to verify the international recognition of the person or group. These are the main requirements for this petition:

A written evidence from an appropriate labor organization of the nature of the work to be performed (although this requirement may be justified);

A statement that can prove that the group has been established and has been operating regularly for at least one year;

Itinerary with the dates and locations of athletic or artistic performances;

A copy of the employment contract;

A statement listing each member of the group and the exact dates each member began working in the group;

Evidence that proves the international recognition of the group or individual as “outstanding in the discipline for a substantial and sustained period of time”; this evidence may include the following information:

Evidence that the group has performed and will act as a major or featured entertainment group in a significant production, as evidenced by reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, endorsements, etc;

Evidence that the group has achieved international recognition, awards and praise from awards organizations, critics and other entities;

Evidence that the group has an important commercial or athletic success record;

Evidence of significant participation in a previous season with a major US sports league, national team, or college or university team;

Evidence that the team or individual is classified, if international classifications are available;

Evidence that the person or team has achieved significant recognition in sport;

Proof that your group is receiving an exceptional salary or receiving an exceptional payment for their services in the United States.

Once the petition is filed with the USCIS, it will have 2 to 8 weeks to process. If approved, US sponsors and athletes or entertainers will be notified by submitting Form I-797, Notice of Action. Only after this process can P-1 visa applicants proceed with their visa application at the Embassy or US Consulate.

Processing time

The P-1 visa will take approximately 3 to 6 months to process. However, the premium processing option, where the employer pays a $1,225 fee and the visa is processed in just 2-3 weeks. The person or team is free to work for multiple employers on a P-1 visa, however, each employer is required to file a separate petition with the USCIS.

Validity of P-1 Visa

Individual Athlete: The P-1 visa for an individual athlete will be granted for a maximum period of five years. The individual may extend the visa for another five years and after this period of 10 years, the person must return to their country of origin.

Athletes of a team: Athletes of a team will have a visa valid for a maximum of one year, which can be extended annually in increments of one year.

Entertainment Groups: Entertainment groups receive a visa valid for 1 year and extensions are also available annually in one-year increments.

Visa P-2

The P-2 visa type is intended for artists or entertainment professionals looking to come to the US to work individually or as part of a group, and for those who will be acting as part of a reciprocal exchange program. To obtain this type of temporary visa, a person must be an artist entering the US through a government-recognized exchange program. The P-2 visa allows the artist to stay in the country for the time necessary to complete the performance or event he is performing, for a maximum period of one year.

P-3 Visa

The P-3 visa is also specific to artists and entertainment industry professionals, however it does not require participation in a cultural exchange program like the P-2 visa. This type of visa is intended for those seeking to enter the United States to act, teach, develop, train, perform or represent a unique ethnic group, theatrical, artistic, cultural, musical or folkloric performance.

To qualify for the P-3 visa, the artist must include in the application a schedule with a list of events and letters from experts in their culturally unique field that can validate their abilities. It should also document the unique cultural peculiarity that the person intends to achieve in the US.

How to apply for a P-3 Visa

To obtain a P-3 visa, the employer or sponsoring organization must apply for a Form I-129 nonimmigrant worker petition. This form must include supporting documents such as:

An explanation of the event and the US itinerary;

Testimonials or letters from recognized experts proving the authenticity of skill in teaching, performing, training or presenting the unique art form, providing the expert`s credentials to evaluate a culturally unique program;

Or a documentation that the artist or the group`s performance is culturally unique through reviews in periodicals, newspapers or other publications;

Documentation that proves that all your planned performances will be culturally unique.

Anyone who qualifies for this type of visa will be able to stay in the United States for the period necessary to complete the event, not to exceed 12 years. You can request extensions to continue or complete presentations for up to one year. Children under the age of 21 and the artist`s spouse can obtain a P-4 type visa if they wish to accompany the visa holder during their stay in the US.

Those who have no intention of re If you are in the US and only wish to visit the P-2 or P-3 Visa holder, they can apply for the B-2 visa, or for those who qualify can travel through the Visa Waiver Program.


Mr. Alessandro Jacob speaking about Brazilian Law on "International Bar Association" conference

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