Everything You Need To Know About
The P3 Visa

Immigration is one of the most complex areas of the law.
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What Is the P3 Visa?

The P3 visa is a non-immigrant visa available for people who want to temporarily travel to the United States to perform, instruct, or coach in a culturally unique program. The P3 visa is accessible to performers, artists or entertainers, and their support personnel.

People may apply to enter the United States either as an individual or as part of a group.

Artists or entertainers with P3 visas can perform for compensation or prizes in culturally unique events in the country.

This article describes everything you need to know about P3 visas and how a Business Immigration Attorney can be of help.

Eligibility for P3 Visas Under Immigration Law

The P3 visa is enshrined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Under immigration law, a person may be eligible for P3 status if he or she :

  1. Is an artist or entertainer, either alone or in a group, or is a crucial component of such a group’s artistic performance, and
  2. Aims to enter the United States temporarily to engage in a culturally unique commercial or noncommercial program as a performer, educator, or coach with such a group.

In addition, anybody applying for P3 status must be a resident of a country that they have no plans to leave. For comprehensive advice on your eligibility, you may want to consult an immigration lawyer.


P3 Visa Requirements

To qualify for a P-3 visa, you must plan to visit the United States to represent or teach your art, either individually or as a group. To satisfy the criteria for a P3 Visa, the applicant must:

  • Participate in a cultural event designed to further his or her art form

  • Be hired in a commercial or nonprofit cultural program

  • Plan to depart the United States when your allotted stay ends

  • Create, interpret, coach, or represent a “culturally unique program.”

Culturally Unique Program

P3 status requires petitioners to engage in a culturally unique program in order to qualify. Also, you must be coming to the US to participate in cultural events that will advance the understanding and development of your art form.

The term “culturally unique” is defined under immigration laws as “a manner of creative artistic expression, technique, or medium that is distinctive to a specific country, nation, society, class, religion, traditional ethnic group, tribe, or other groups of individuals.”

Under the law, the program may not be sponsored by an educational, cultural, or government organization. A culturally distinctive program may be of commercial or noncommercial nature.


How to apply for the P3 Visa

For the P3 visa application process to commence, your US-based company or sponsoring organization must complete and submit Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker, on your behalf. It is worth mentioning that it is not feasible to apply for a P3 visa without having a US sponsor.

After receiving the petition, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) will analyze it and tell your sponsoring employer about the decision. If the petition is authorized, you will be eligible to apply for the P3 visa interview at a US Consulate in your native country.

Specific Documentation Required with Form I-129

Form I-129 must include proof of the applicant’s creativity or entertainment talent and eligibility for the P3 visa. There may also be a need to supply documentation of the contract, circumstances, or actions that prompted the applicant’s desire to enter the United States. Other documentation supporting the petition may include:


Registration With an Appropriate Labor Organization

The P3 applicants must have a written consultation from an approved labor group that describes the job or services to be done while in the United States and the applicant’s credentials for the task. This could be a Perm Labor Certification.

Additionally, the labor group may send a statement declaring they have no objections to accepting the petition.


Evidence of Events in the United States

The USCIS recommends that applicants provide an itinerary of the events or performances in addition to the written consultation. This is to show the cultural uniqueness of the program.


Proof of Agreement

The petitioning company or sponsor must provide a copy of the written contract or oral agreement between the petitioning employer or sponsor and the P3 visa applicant.


Evidence of Artistic or Amusement-Related Abilities and Skills

In addition, proof must be provided demonstrating the P3 visa applicant has knowledge and skills relating to culturally distinct and traditional art forms. This comprises affidavits, testimonials, or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity and expertise of the P3 visa applicant in performing, presenting, coaching, or teaching a traditional art form.


Essential Support Personnel

If a P3 artist or performer wishes to fund their support staff’s trip to the United States, they must submit a new Form I-129 with the accompanying documents, which include:

  • A written consultation from the relevant labor organization
  • A written description of the support person’s former and present vital responsibilities, critical talents, and experience with the P-3 artist or entertainer
  • A copy of the signed agreement between the employer and the support individual
  • There must be proof that this person is the only one able to provide the critical support services required to the artist or entertainer and that a U.S. worker is unable to fill this role.

P3 Visa Cost

When applying for a P-3 visa, your U.S. sponsor must pay the Form I-129 filing fee, which is $460. After the USCIS approves the form I-129, the applicant will pay the following fees:

  • $190 for P-3 filing

  • $85 for biometric services notice fees (if applicable)

  • Certified translations costs: these vary and may not be applicable to everyone 

  • Visa issuance fees


P3 Visa Processing Time

P3 visa applications typically take between 2 and 8 weeks. Once your petition is approved, you will receive a notice confirming the approval from the USCIS. The notice will also inform you about your P3 visa interview schedule.

The I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service) can be used if you need a P3 visa fast-track application package. For an additional $2,500, the USCIS can guarantee a prompt decision on your petition within 15 calendar days.

If the USCIS cannot further your application, your premium processing fee will be refunded.

P3 Visa Duration

If your application for a P3 visa is approved, you will be permitted to remain in the US for the duration of your performance or cultural event. This duration cannot exceed one year, though.

You may apply for a P3 visa extension if you need extra time to finish the same event for which you originally entered the United States. USCIS may offer you up to one-year extensions for the duration of the cultural performance. To request an extension, you will complete a new Form I-129 and submit it to USCIS.

Your unmarried children or spouse may accompany you to the United States on a P4 dependent visa. They may also remain in the US for as long as your P3 visa remains valid.

P3 Visa to Green Card

The P3 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa. As such, a P3 visa holder cannot get a green card directly from their P3 visa as is possible with other visas.

In spite of this, a P3 visa holder may apply to become a permanent resident under certain circumstances, such as by marrying a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident or changing their status to an H-1B visa.


How Can We Help You?

At ImmiVisa, we are passionate about helping people promote their work. Our immigration attorneys can evaluate your situation, determine your eligibility for the P3 Visa, and assist you in submitting a complete application to USCIS.

If you have any inquiries, our staff will be there to help you.