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P-1 Visa – US Visa Professionals, Artists, and Athletes

The O-1 standard is tough to meet as O-1 Visas are reserved for those at the top of their field. For entertainers and athletes who may not be able to qualify for an O-1 Visa, the P-1 Visa may be the right fit. Below are answers to FAQs regarding the P Visas.


  • What is the difference between P-1, P-2, and P-3?
    • P-1 is for:
      • Athletes going to the U.S. to compete at an internationally recognized level;
      • Professional athletes;
      • Athletes or coaches of a U.S. organization who are also members of certain foreign amateur leagues or associations;
      • Professional or amateur ice skaters; and
      • Entertainers performing with a group that is internationally recognized (generally, the entertainer must have been with the group for at least a year).


    • P-2 is for:
      • Artists or entertainers who are going to the U.S. to perform under a reciprocal exchange program between U.S. organizations and foreign organizations that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.


    • P-3 is for:
      • Artists or entertainers who are going to the U.S. to perform, teach, or coach under a program that is culturally unique. Culturally unique means a style of artistic expression, methodology, or medium which is unique to a particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other group of persons.


  • How long can I have a P-1 Visa for?
    • For individual P-1 Athletes: initial period of stay can be 5 years and extensions can be granted in 5-year increments.
    • For those who are not individual P-1 Athletes: initial period of stay can be up to one year and there is no statutory limit on total stay.


  • What is an “Advisory Opinion”?
    • A P Visa application requires an advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization that confirms the applicant’s skills and that the organization does not object to the application. In some circumstances (ex: there is no appropriate organization) an advisory opinion will not be required.


  • Can my spouse and child come with me to the U.S.?
    • Yes, spouses and children of P Visa holders can secure P-4 status.


Another option for athletes or entertainers who cannot qualify for an O Visa is the H-2B visa. The H-2B category is used by U.S. companies to employ skilled or unskilled workers in nonagricultural positions. Generally, H-2B visas are granted for a maximum of nine months and family members may accompany the principal applicant in H-4 status.


Looking for help securing a P-1 US Visa?


Silver Immigration can guide you through the process of obtaining a US Visa. Our team will help you understand your immigration needs and assist you throughout the process of successfully acquiring a P-1 Visa based on your status as a professional, athlete, or artist. Complete our contact form or schedule your free consultation directly with an immigration lawyer here.