P-3 Visa

The P-3 visa is for those who are coming to the U.S. to perform, teach, or coach as artists/entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.  Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-3 artist/entertainer are also eligible for P-3 visas (such as coaches, scouts, trainers, and other team officials and referees).


Requirements for P-3

1. You must be coming to the U.S., either individually or as a group, for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation.

2. You must be coming to the U.S. to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of your art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.


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 contract between the petitioner and the alien or the summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the petitioner and the alien.

----- Explanation of the event and itinerary.

----- Affidavits, testimonials, or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of your or your group's skills in performing, presenting, coaching, or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert including the basis of his or her knowledge of your or your group’s skills; or documentation that your or your group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials.

----- Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events.

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-3 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-3 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.


Period of Stay

1. Initial period of stay: Time needed to complete the event, activity, 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, activity, or performance.



Dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of P-3 workers are entitled to P-4 visas/status.  P-4 dependents may study, but cannot engage in employment in the U.S.