P-3 Visa


The P3 visa is available for foreign nationals coming temporarily to the U.S. to perform, teach, or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group under a commercial or non-commercial program that is culturally unique.

P3 Visa Eligibility – It Is Suitable For:

Artists and entertainers entering the U.S. to perform in a culturally unique program Artists to represent, teach, or coach cultural, musical, ethnic folk, artistic, or theatrical arts in the U.S. Artists entering the U.S. to enhance the development or understanding of culturally unique art forms Support personnel of P3 visa holders U.S. agents and companies to bring artists and entertainers to participate in culturally unique programs

P3 Visa Benefits

Your dependents can stay with you as long as you maintain your P3 status. They can also attend school

You can freely travel in and out of the U.S. provided you have a valid visa

P3 Visa Requirements

To be eligible for the P3 visa, you must be coming to the U.S. to perform, teach, or coach in a specific field such as a unique or traditional ethnic, cultural, musical, folk, artistic, or theatrical performance or presentation. You must prove that:

You are coming to the U.S. to develop, understand, promote or facilitate a culturally unique art form You perform essential support services for a P3 artist or entertainer, which cannot be performed by U.S. workers

You have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience in providing support services to artists and entertainers

You are being sponsored by a cultural, educational, or governmental organization You have achieved national or international recognition or acclaim in the culturally unique program you shall perform

P3 Visa Notes

To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. on an P3 visa, you must change your visa status.

The information provided here is applicable to New P3 Visa and P3 Extension.

Applying For The P3 Visa

You cannot apply for a P3 visa as an individual. A U.S. employer has to sponsor your P3 visa. Your employer must file the USCIS Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with Form I-129 O/P supplement and supporting documentation with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the USCIS approves the P3 visa petition, you may apply for the P3 visa at an American Consulate overseas.

  1. Peer Group Consultation
  2. Prior to filing the P3 visa petition with the USCIS, your employer must obtain an advisory opinion from an appropriate consulting entity or a labor organization, or show that an appropriate peer group, labor organization or management organization does not exist.

    If the position is covered under a union contract, your employer may need to obtain a letter of no-objection signed by an official union representative of the local chapter. The letter must state your name and the name of your employer, along with the name of the labor organization and the name and address of the local chapter. The letter must state that the labor organization has reviewed pertinent information about your position and credentials, and that hiring you will not “adversely affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers and that, therefore, it has no objection to you being hired”.

  3. Filing The P3 Petition
  4. A U.S. employer or agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent may petition the USCIS by submitting the following:

    • USCIS Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
    • USCIS Form I-129 O/P Supplement, O and P classification Supplement to Form I-129
    • Copies of evidence describing your experience and skills
    • Proof of your standing as outstanding in your field
    • An official affidavit that confirms the existence of the culturally unique program
    • A contract and schedule of events describing terms and conditions of performance including pay, performance dates, and duration of contract
    • No objection letters from the union (or an advisory opinion from a peer group)
    • Written contract between your group and the sponsoring employer or agent, or, if there is no written contract, a thorough description of your oral agreement
    • An explanation of the event and its itinerary

    Note: Individual performers must prove that they play an integral part in the performance of the event. The standard defined by the USCIS for P3 visa holders’ is that performers must perform “an integral part of the performance which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the services.”

    After receiving and reviewing your petition, the USCIS notifies your sponsoring employer of its decision. When the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the Notice of Action Form I-797 to your sponsoring employer.

    If you are overseas, the USCIS notifies the American Consulate nearest to your permanent residence. You must take the P3 approval notice to the consulate to obtain the P3 visa. If you are already in the U.S., you can start working for your employer as soon as you receive the approval notice.

  5. Premium Processing of The P3 Visa
  6. You may have your P3 petition adjudicated within 15 calendar days by applying for premium processing.

    For an additional fee of US $1,440, the USCIS guarantees a prompt decision on your P3 petition. You will receive either an approval notice, a request for further evidence, a notice of intent to deny the petition, or a notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within 15 calendar days from the date you applied for the premium processing of your P3 visa. If the USCIS fails to respond within 15 calendar days, it will return the $1,440 fee and continue to process the petition under the expedited process.

  7. Applying For The P3 Visa At An American Consulate
  8. To apply for the P3 visa, you must furnish the original or a copy of the Notice of Action, Form I-797A or B (the approval notice forwarded to your employer when the petition is approved). Your P3 visa application must include the following documents:

    • DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
    • A copy of your passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
    • Passport style color photograph showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member. The photo may be uploaded at the time you complete the DS-160
    • A letter from your U.S. employer detailing your position and a statement that you possess skills essential for the performance of the job offered
    • Duration of Stay

The P3 visa is generally issued for the period of time necessary to complete the event, activity, or performance usually not exceeding one year. Thereafter, the USCIS may authorize extension of stay in increments of one year to complete the same event for which you entered the U.S. You may receive one-year extensions as long as the performance of the event continues.

Spouse and Children

Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join you in the U.S. for the duration of your stay can apply for a P4 visa.

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