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P - Performing Artists, Entertainers, and Athletes

The P visa enables athletes, artists, and entertainers to come to the U.S. to perform in their field. The P visa is an alternative to the O visa for those who cannot qualify under the extraordinary ability standard required for an O visa but who are otherwise eligible for the P visa.

The term of the P visa is for up to one year. Individual athletes holding the P-1 visa can extend the visa for an additional five years, up to a total of 10 years. All other P visa holders can be granted extensions in one-year increments.

The allocation of P visas is limited to 25,000 per year.

P-1 - Individual Athletes, Athletic Teams, and Entertainment Groups

The P-1 visa is designed for internationally recognized individual athletes, athletic teams, and members of an entertainment group to come to the U.S. to perform in their field.

In order to qualify for the P-1 visa, evidence of the following must be shown:
1) An athletic team must have achieved international recognition in the sport.
2) Individual athletes that are not part of a team must show that he/she is internationally recognized.
3) The entertainer must be a member of an entertainment group that is internationally recognized and be performing in the U.S. as part of that group, and not on an individual basis. The group is required to have been internationally recognized for a sustained and substantial period of time. Except in certain circumstances, 75% of the group's members must have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group for at least one year and provide functions integral to the group's performance.

P-2 - Artists and Entertainers in Reciprocal Exchange Programs

The P-2 visa is designed for artists or entertainers who will perform in the U.S. under a reciprocal exchange program. The artists or entertainers can be individuals or groups.

P-3 - Artists and Entertainers in Culturally Unique Programs

The P-3 visa is designed for artists and entertainers to come to the U.S. to perform, coach, or teach under a commercial or non-commercial program that is culturally unique. The artists or entertainers can be individuals or groups.

* * * * *
Statutory authorization for these types of non-immigrant visa can be found in Section 101(a)(15)(P)(i)-(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 USC § 1101(a)(15)(P)(i)-(iii)) at the following link:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=RETRIEVE&FILE=$$xa$$busc8.wais&start=134104&SIZE=314774&TYPE=TEXT.
The requirements are further detailed in 8 CFR § 214.2(p)(4)-(6), and available at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2008/janqtr/pdf/8cfr214.2.pdf.

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