What you need to know about P-3 visas

The P-3 visa is offered by USCIS and is designed to allow artists or entertainers to enter the United States, either individually or as a group. The goal of the artists or group should be to develop, interpret, represent, coach or teach a traditional or artistic cultural, folk, ethnic musical or theatrical performance or presentation.

Applicants for P-3 visas must be coming to the U.S. to participate in a cultural event or events that will further the understanding or development of their art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

For the presentation to be deemed culturally unique, it must be in a style that is an artistic expression, methodology or medium that is specific to a particular country, nation, society, class ethnicity, tribe, religion or other group of persons.

Those who request a P-3 visa must be sponsored by a U.S. organization or employer. The sponsor must submit Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. Documents that are required for the application include proof that the applicant’s or group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials. Applicants will also need to provide an explanation of the event they will be participating in and an itinerary, especially if they plan to perform in more than one location.

Those individuals or groups that hold P-3 visas will be permitted to stay in the U.S. for the time it takes to complete the event, activity or performance, up to one year. They are allowed to petition for an extension in one-year increments in order to continue or complete the event, activity or performance.

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of P-3 visa holders may obtain P-4 status. The dependents may not obtain employment but may attend school or college.