What is the P3 Visa?
The P3 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa intended for artists or entertainers coming to the US individually or as part of a group under a culturally unique programme. For a programme to be considered culturally unique, it has to be specific to a particular country, ethnicity, religion tribe, or another group of people.
If their application is successful, they can come to the US to:
- Perform in cultural, musical, theatrical, or other artistic programmes
- Teach or coach traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, or theatrical arts
- Hold a supporting role during the cultural project.
Individuals working in the sports or journalism industries are not eligible for this visa. Instead, athletes should apply for the P1 Visa and media representatives for the I Visa.
What are the requirements for the P3 Visa?
If you want to apply for the P3 Visa, you have to meet the following requirements:
- Be coming to the US to take part in a cultural event that serves to develop and represent your unique art
- Be coming to the US to further the understanding of your art form
- Be coming to the US as part of a commercial or noncommercial program
Have the intention to leave the US after your visa expires.
If you are an essential support personnel, you might also be eligible for the P3 Visa. To qualify, you have to prove that the assistance you provide artists or entertainers with cannot be offered by a US worker and that your help is essential to the success of the performance. Support personnel includes coaches, trainers, and other officials.
What can I do on the P3 Visa?
If your application for the P3 Visa is approved, you will be able to receive payment for your performance in the US. Additionally, while your visa is valid you will be able to engage in part-time study at a US institution. If you would like to take your loved ones to the US, you can apply for P4 Visa for them.
While the P3 Visa comes with many benefits, there are also several limitations to it. When you come to the US on the P3 Visa, you will only be allowed to work for the employer who sponsored you. If you would like to change jobs, you will have to apply for a different US Visa. Moreover, if your dependents come to the US with you, they will not be able to work.
How to apply for the P3 Visa?
For the P3 Visa application process to start, your US-based employer or sponsoring organisation has to file and submit Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker on your behalf. It is worth noting that it is not possible to apply for a P3 Visa without having a US sponsor.
In the petition to USCIS, your employer will have to:
- Describe your experience and skills
- Prove that you have exceptional abilities in your field
- Submit evidence confirming that the culturally unique programme exists
- Provide documentation showing that all the performances will be culturally unique
- Outline the terms and conditions of performance, including the dates and your remuneration for it
- Include an advisory opinion from a labour organisation or appropriate consulting group
- Submit a copy of your written contract or a description of your oral agreement
- Explain the details and the itinerary of the cultural event.
After receiving the petition, USCIS will review it and notify your sponsoring employer about the outcome. If the petition is approved, you will be able to apply for the P3 Visa at a US Consulate in your home country.
What is the processing time of the P3 Visa?
Most applications for the P3 Visa are processed within 2 to 8 weeks. After the petition submitted by your US employer is approved, you will receive a notification from USCIS. Then you will be able to schedule your visa interview at a US Consulate in the country where you are based.
If your application is urgent, you can speed up the application process by applying for premium processing. To do so, you will need to pay a fee of $1,440. If you opt for the premium processing, you will receive a decision within 15 days. The outcomes you can expect are:
- An approval notice
- A request for additional evidence
- A notice of intent to deny your petition
- A notice of investigation for fraud.
If you have to include further evidence, the application process might be delayed. To avoid that, seek advice from our expert immigration lawyers. They will help you prepare a portfolio of evidence gathering all the required documents and will go over your petition to make sure you have included all of them.
If USCIS does not give you the decision within 15 days, you will receive a refund of the premium processing fee and your application will be processed within the standard timeframe.
How long can I stay in the US on the P3 Visa?
If your application for the P3 Visa is successful, you will be able to stay in the US for as long as it takes to complete the performance or cultural event you will be taking part in. This period cannot be longer than one year, however.
Should you need more time to complete the same event for which you initially came to the US, you can apply for a P3 Visa extension. USCIS may grant you increments of up to one year for as long as the cultural performance lasts. To apply for an extension, you will need to complete Form I-129 and submit it to USCIS.
If your dependents come to the US with you on the P4 Visa, they will be able to stay in the country for as long as your P3 Visa is valid.
How can Total Law help?
At Total Law, we want to help our clients develop and promote their art. Our immigration lawyers will thoroughly review your circumstances, assess your eligibility for the P3 Visa, and help you submit a complete application to USCIS.
We will liaise with your US-based sponsor to make the application process stress-free and straightforward and we will review your portfolio of supporting documents to make sure you have prepared everything USCIS might need to review your application.
Should you have any questions, our team will be around to assist you.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 and talk to our expert immigration lawyers.
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USCIS views culturally unique programmes as the ones that represent the traditions or culture of a certain group. That means that applicants wanting to get the P3 Visa should practice some form of traditional art. Several examples of artists that might be eligible for the P3 Visa include acrobats, bagpipers, flamenco dancers, or folk singers.
As there are many different art forms, USCIS reviews P3 Visa applications on a case-by-case basis. If you are not sure whether what you do as an entertainer qualifies you for the P3 Visa, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will assess your eligibility for the P3 Visa and will help you prepare evidence showing that your performance in the US would be culturally unique.
If you come to the US on the P3 Visa, you have to work for the employer who filed Form I-129 for you. You are allowed to change employers provided that your new US employer agrees to file a new Form I-129 on your behalf. In the petition, they have to request USCIS’ permission to employ you. Until the new Form I-129 has been approved, you cannot begin working for the other employer.
There are no travel restrictions on the P3 Visa. After your visa is granted, you will be able to leave and reenter the US as many times as you want as long as your status is valid. Nevertheless, once your visa expires, you have to leave the US immediately. If you want to come back to the US after, you will have to apply for a new visa.
Once you are in the US on the P3 Visa, you can apply for Adjustment of Status and seek to become a lawful permanent resident in the US. To be eligible for a US Green Card you will have to meet the requirements outlined by USCIS.
Individuals who received the P3 Visa as essential support personnel cannot apply for Adjustment of Status.