P Visa Lawyer in DC

P visas are reserved for individuals who wish to come to the U.S. in order to perform as internationally recognized athletes (P-1A) or entertainers (P-1B), or to perform under a reciprocal exchange program (P-2), or be part of a culturally unique program as an artist (P-3). If you need help preparing an application for this kind of visa, contact a DC P visa lawyer with experience with employment visas for a consultation.

Although a DC P visa attorney can explain how the process applies to you and your

P Visas for Performers and Athletes

To initiate the process, the sponsoring organization or employer must file a Form I-129, which, if granted, will allow the performer to apply for a visa to seek admission into the U.S.

P-1: Athletes and Entertainers

In order to qualify as a sponsor or “host” to an athlete or entertainer, the sponsoring entity must be “…an established organization in the U.S. which will not directly employ a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien, but will assume responsibility for the accuracy of the terms and conditions specified in the petition.” See this 2009 USCIS memo for a clarification of a qualifying sponsor.

Further, the foreign athlete or entertainer must be (either individually or as part of a group or team) “internationally recognized” as being outstanding in their discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. You need to provide certain documentation to establish this, and a DC P visa lawyer can help.

P-2 Reciprocal Exchange Program

The P-2 visa classification in DC is reserved for individuals or groups who seek to enter the U.S. to perform under a mutual exchange program with a U.S.-based organization. Because it require this relationship between a U.S. and foreign entity to be pre-established, P-2 visas are rare and warrant help from a DC P-2 visa lawyer. An example of one qualifying program is the cultural exchange between the American Federation of Musicians with the Canadian Federation of Musicians.

P-3 Visas for Culturally Unique Programs

P-3 visas are reserved for artists or groups who want to come to the U.S. to perform, teach, or coach in a culturally unique program. The purpose of the visit should be to “further the understanding or development” of the art form. The P-3 visa doesn’t require a reciprocal program in the U.S. like the P-2, or a sponsor like the P-1.  An example of a culturally unique program may be an Irish dance troupe specializing in Irish folk dance, or an instructor in the African Bantu instrument the “sharrara,” a triangular lyre instrument that resembles a guitar but which is not commonly found in the U.S.

Evidence Required for P Visa Applications:

  • Copies of contracts between the petitioner and the alien beneficiary, or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the foreign performer/athlete will be employed or performing
  • A thorough explanation of the itinerary of the tour or schedule of events for the visit, along with a summary of the nature of the activities/performances that will take place
  • Affidavits, awards, or expert opinions regarding the achievements of the applicant/s and their recognized status as individuals of extraordinary ability
  • Other documentation specific to the P-1, P-2 or P-3 category.

In addition, P-1 athletes must prove that the athlete or team is internationally recognized, that the athletic event itself has a distinguished reputation, and that the competition the athlete will participate in requires their presence.

A DC P Visa Attorney Can Help

Many times, due to game or performance schedules that cannot be altered, the processing of P visa applications is extremely time-sensitive. For this reason, it’s important to put forward a strong and well-organized application at the onset, to avoid unnecessary delays or requests for evidence. If you need help with or have questions about a P visa, please contact an experienced DC P visa lawyer for a consultation. If you are seeking information on employment based visas but feel the P visa does not apply to you, please click here.

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