A short-term U.S. work visa known as the P visa is available to outstanding athletes, athletic teams, and entertainment companies (including circuses) with a job offer from a U.S. employer. Their essential support personnel may also be granted visas with the same letter-number designations. There is no annual limit on the number of people who can receive P visas.
P-1: Internationally Recognized Athlete or Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group
The P-1 visa classification is a temporary non-immigrant visa available to individuals who are internationally recognized athletes, artists, or entertainers. The P-1 visa may be issued to an internationally recognized individual, team, or group who wishes to compete or perform in the U.S. in an event or competition which has a distinguished reputation and requires the participation of an individual, team, or group that has an international reputation.
A P-1 applicant must demonstrate an internationally recognized reputation by providing a contract (if such contracts are normally executed) and evidence of at least two of the following:
- Participation in a prior season with a major U.S. sports league;
- International competition with a national team;
- Significant participation in U.S. intercollegiate activity in a prior season;
- A written statement from an official of a U.S. sports league or governing body of the sport detailing how the individual or team is internationally recognized;
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or an expert in the field;
- Proof of international rankings; or
- Evidence of a significant honor or award in the sport.
Additionally, the applicant must secure a written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization (where one exists) commenting on whether the alien or group is internationally recognized and whether the services the alien or group is coming to perform are appropriate for an internationally recognized athlete or group. In the alternative, the labor organization may submit a “no objection” statement. P-1 visa holders are generally admitted for the duration of a specific competition, event or performance, but may also receive an initial visa valid for a five-year period if they can demonstrate a schedule of services for that period.
P-2: Artist or Entertainer in Reciprocal Exchange Program
The P-2 visa classification applies to an individual who is temporarily coming to the U.S. to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and an organization in another country.
P-3: Artist or Entertainer in Culturally Unique Program
The P-3 visa classification applies to an individual who is coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform, teach, or coach, individually or as part of a group, an art form that is culturally unique.