What is a P Visa and Who Qualifies?
The P visa classification is divided into P-1, P-2, and P-3 sub-categories. A P-1 visa is specifically for an athlete or entertainer coming to the US to perform in either a competition or with as a member of a foreign-based entertainment group recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a substantial period of time. A P-2 visa is for foreigners coming to the US to perform as an artist or entertainer under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the US and an organization in another country. P-3 visa is for foreigners coming temporarily to perform, teach, or coach in the arts or entertainment fields in a culturally unique program.
A few examples of those who may be in the US in P-1A status include tennis players, hockey team players, and soccer team players. Essentially, those who might not be qualified under O-1, such as amateur athletes, may consider P-1A. A few examples of those who may be in the US in P-1B status include rock bands, jazz bands, circus groups and performers, and trainers. P-2 examples are similar to those of P-1A, but require that there is an exchange between persons of comparable experience and talent. Some examples of P-3 visa holders may include a singing group dealing with cultural music indigenous to their home country. Finally, a “written consultation” is generally required for all P class visas.
When can I Obtain a P Visa?
Unlike H-1B visas, there is no quota on the number of P visas which may be issued every year, therefore it can be obtained any time of the year. Premium processing, in which the petition will be processed within 15 calendar days, is also available.
What are the Advantages and Limitations of a P Visa?
An advantage of the P visa is that it may be renewed indefinitely, for as long as the person is needed. P visa is also considered a “dual intent” visa, meaning that you may have immigrant visa petitions (green card) pending, and still have no problem in applying for P visa extensions. Also, as previously mentioned, P visas are available year-round.
A limitation of the P visa is that your dependents are unable to obtain work authorization.
What is the Attorney’s Role in a P visa Petition?
Documenting P visa petitions requires meeting precise criteria with proper documentation which a skilled attorney is able to evaluate. Furthermore, if an improper or less than ideal written consultation is provided, the processing of the petition may be delayed or denied. A skilled professional is able to evaluate whether a P visa is the best option.
To discuss P visa petitions and other alternatives with an experienced immigration lawyer from the Shah Peerally Law Group, feel free to contact our immigration law firm by email or call us at 510-742-5887.
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