P-2 Visa

The P-2 visa is for you if you are coming to the U.S. to perform as an artist/entertainer, individually or as part of a group, under a reciprocal exchange program between a U.S. organization and a foreign organization.  Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-2 artist/entertainer are also eligible for P-2 visas (such as stagehands, trainers, or those persons having critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed).


Requirements for P-2

You must be an artist/entertainer coming to the U.S. through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program, and you must possess skills comparable to those of the U.S. artists/entertainers to be performing outside the U.S. as part of the same exchange program.


How to apply

1. First, your U.S. employer or a sponsoring labor organization in the U.S. has to file a Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker, along with proper Supplements and supporting documents, with USCIS.  If the petitioner is an agent filing for multiple employers, the petitioner must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent.

Supporting documents must include:

----- Consultation by an appropriate labor organization.

----- Copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the sponsoring U.S. organization and the foreign organization(s).

----- Statement from the sponsoring U.S. organization describing the reciprocal exchange of U.S. artists/entertainers.

----- Evidence that you and the U.S. artists/entertainers subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement have comparable skills and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar.

----- Evidence that an appropriate U.S. labor organization was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists/entertainers.

----- Itinerary, if the events or performances will take place in multiple locations.

2. For essential support personnel, a separate Form I-129 has to be filed.  Supporting documents must include:

----- Consultation from an from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill.

----- Statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentiality, critical skills and experience with the P-2 artist/entertainer.

----- Copy of a contract between the employer and the support person, or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.

3. Once the I-129 petition is approved, you can apply for a P-2 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.


Period of Stay

1. Initial period of stay: Time needed to complete the event, competition, or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

2. Extension of stay: Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition, or performance.



Dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of P-2 workers are entitled to P-4 visas/status.  P-4 dependents may study, but cannot engage in employment in the U.S.