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P3 Visa (Artists and Entertainers)

International artists and entertainers can enter the United States temporarily to perform a culturally unique program by applying for a P3 Visa.

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What is a P3 Visa?

The P-3 Visa is for those who want to temporarily enter the U.S. in order to perform, teach or coach in a culturally unique program. The P3 visa is a nonimmigrant permit that is available for artists, entertainers, and their support personnel. Applicants can enter the U.S. either as individuals or as members of a group.

While in the United States, artists or entertainers can perform in exchange for payment or prize money as well as engage in part-time study if interested.

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Who is eligible for a P3 Visa?

The P-3 Visa is a non-immigrant permit for artists or entertainers/performers who wish to come to the U.S. with the purpose of participating, sharing, or developing any “culturally unique program”.

Culturally unique is defined as something that is exclusive to a particular country or group of people. This can include the following:

  • A presentation or performance that is traditionally ethnic
  • A folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation

These programs can be either of a commercial or noncommercial nature but they must promote the understanding or development of the traditional art form. This is not limited to traditional art forms but also performances that are a fusion of various cultures and styles.

This visa is also available for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. to teach or coach. Support personnel to a P3 holder can apply as well, as long as they can demonstrate their role within the cultural project.

This permit is not available for professionals working in the sports industry. If this is your case, you should submit a P1 Visa application. Filmmakers and other artists engaged in informative activities should apply for a foreign media visa.

What are the P3 Visa requirements?

To be eligible for a P-3 visa, you must intend to enter the U.S. either individually or as a group to represent or teach your art. To meet the P3 Visa requirements, the applicant must:

  • Take part in a cultural event aimed at developing his or her art form
  • Be employed in a commercial or noncommercial program cultural program
  • Intend to leave the U.S. when your authorized stay expires
  • Develop, interpret, coach, or represent a “culturally unique program”
cultural program

How to apply for a P3 Visa?

The P3 Visa application process begins when a U.S.-based sponsoring organization files your petition, Form I-129 (Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker) along with supporting documentation.

Once Form I-129 is approved, the artists or entertainers will then need to complete and submit Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form). This form can be submitted online and will ask the applicant a series of questions regarding their background and reasons for coming to the United States. After the online form is completed, the applicants will be shown a confirmation page. It is important to print out this confirmation page as it will later need to be submitted as part of the visa application.

In addition to Form DS-160, applicants will also be asked to pay a processing fee for the P3 visa as well as schedule and attend a visa interview at their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. After the interview, the applicants will receive a decision regarding the approval of the P-3 visa.

If approved applicants will be granted a P-3 visa and can then travel to the United States. If the visa is denied, the applicants will be given a letter stating the reasons for the denial and their options for either re-submission or appeal (if applicable).

What documents should be included with Form I-129?

The U.S. sponsor will need to provide the following documents while filing Form I-129 for a P-3 visa:

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • A copy of the contract between you and your sponsoring organization
  • An explanation of the event and its itinerary
  • Any proof that your performance is culturally unique. This can be reviews published in media or affidavits, testimonials, or letters from recognized experts attesting the cultural uniqueness of the performance or presentation
  • Any documents or evidence proving that the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events
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What is the processing time for a P3 visa?

It may take 2 to 8 weeks to process your P3 Visa application. Once your petition is approved, you will receive a notification from the USCIS informing you that you are now ready to schedule your interview.

If you are in a hurry, you and your sponsor can apply for a P3 Visa premium processing time by filing I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service). For an additional fee of $2,500, the USCIS can guarantee a prompt decision on your petition within 15 calendar days.

If the USCIS is unable to further your application, your premium processing fee will be refunded.

Essential Support Personnel

If a P3 artist or entertainer would like to sponsor support staff to travel with them to the United States, they will need to file a separate Form I-129 and submit the following documents:

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • A written statement describing the support person’s prior and current essential duties, critical skills, and experience with the P-3 artist or entertainer
  • A copy of the written contract between the employer and the support person

The evidence should prove that only this individual has the critical skills and knowledge to perform the essential support services for the artist or entertainer and furthermore that they can not be replaced by a U.S. worker.

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How long is the P-3 visa valid?

P-3 visas are valid for an initial period of up to a year. They are usually issued for the period of time it takes to complete the program or events. If the artist or entertainer’s performance requires more than a year to complete, the P-3 visa may be extended for another 12 months.

What is the cost of a P-3 visa?

When applying for a P-3 visa, the U.S. sponsor will be responsible for paying $460 for the Form I-129 filing fee. Once the I-129 Form has been approved, the applicants will be responsible for the following fees:

  • P-3 filing fee: $190
  • Biometric service fees (if applicable): $85
  • Costs of certified translations (if applicable): costs will vary
  • Visa issuance fees (if applicable): costs will vary

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Frequently Asked Questions

A P-3 Visa is valid for the duration needed to complete the event or performance. However, your stay cannot exceed 1 year.

Before your permit expires, you can apply for a P3 Visa extension of up to one year. When filling out a new Form I-129, you must prove that you intend to stay in the country only to continue or complete the same event, activity, or performance.

If you want to adjust your status from a P3 Visa to a Green Card, you may apply for a different immigrant permit. After that, you can seek legal permanent residency. However, this option is not available for support staff.

P1 Visa is mainly intended for athletes and sportspersons. Conversely, the P3 Visa is for those who are engaged in cultural performances.

Both visas follow the same application process. However, P3 Visa applicants must demonstrate that their performance is culturally unique.

Once your petition is approved, you will be summoned for an interview. If you applied as a member of a group, each representative of the team must attend it. At this stage of your application, you will be asked about the nature of your event or performance.

At IAS, we understand the importance of sharing and developing our clients’ arts and culture and are privileged to help foreign entertainers and artists obtain their P-3 Visa.

Let us help you with a visa application package that is completely tailored to what you need and includes the following services:

  • Arranging a first strategy session with one of our qualified attorneys
  • Reviewing your supporting portfolio
  • Filling your application forms in
  • Liaising with your U.S.-based sponsor
  • If your petition is denied, we will help you and your sponsor seek an appeal

Contact us on +1 844 290 6312 or make an inquiry online to speak with one of our immigration attorneys.

Spouses and dependent children (unmarried children under the age of 21) can accompany their spouse or parent to the United States if they obtain P-4 nonimmigrant status. While in the United States, spouses and children are not allowed to legally work but may attend school or college while in the country.