What is a P3 Visa?
The P3 visa is a visa for foreign artists or entertainers coming to be part of a culturally unique program in the US. It could be to perform, teach, or coach.
This is a nonimmigrant visa that both entertainers and their support personnel can apply for. You can apply individually or as a group.
With a P3 visa, you can enter the US, perform and receive payment, or win prize money. You can engage in part-time studies during your stay and bring your dependents along with you.
The visa only permits you to work for the employer who sponsored your petition. Change of employer requires that you apply for a new visa.
P3 Visa Eligibility
You are eligible for the P3 visa if you’re an individual artist, entertainer, or part of a performing group. The program bringing you to the US must be culturally unique.
Culturally unique means the program must be exclusive to a particular country or group of people. This includes:
- Traditional ethnic presentation or performance
- Folk presentation or performance
- Cultural presentation or performance
- Musical presentation or performance
- Theatrical presentation or performance
- Artistic presentation or performance
The program can be commercial or non-commercial. It’s also important that your performance or presentation promotes the understanding or development of your art.
Essential Support personnel of the performing artists or groups can also apply. They qualify if they can demonstrate their role in the program.
You’re not eligible to apply for the P3 visa if you’re in the sports industry; instead, you apply for the P1 visa. In addition, a P3 visa is not available for Filmmakers and other related artists;
P3 Visa Required Documents
For your P3 visa application, you must make ready the following:
- Form I-129 confirmation page
- Valid international passport
- Passport photographs according to US visa standard
- Documents explaining the event and itinerary. This must include the dates and places the event will take place.
- Document proving your performance is culturally unique. This can be published materials or reviews from newspapers and journals.
- Testimonials, affidavits, and letters from renowned industry experts to prove the authenticity of your skills.
- The consultation document from an appropriate labor organization
- Contract document between you and your employer/sponsor
The embassy may also request additional documents depending on your program. For supporting personnel, the sponsor has to submit a different Form I-129.
Other necessary documents include a written contract, consultation document, and statement describing the support personnel’s skills and experience with the main artist, entertainer, or group.
P3 Visa Application Process
Consultation is the first step of the P3 visa application. Your sponsor has to consult with an appropriate labor organization to verify if the P3 petition will get approval or not.
The main things to verify include:
- If the program is appropriate for P3 classification
- The cultural uniqueness of the program
- The cultural uniqueness of the P3 beneficiary skills
If the advisory opinion is negative, they’ll provide facts for the objection. Otherwise, they’ll issue a letter of no objection, and your sponsor can file the P3 petition with Form I-129.
After filing, the USCIS processes the application and issues a decision. If they approve the petition, your sponsor will receive an approval notice.
On your part, you have to file the online nonimmigrant visa application Form DS-160. Pay your application fee and complete all parts of the form. The embassy won’t process your application if you don’t pay your fees.
After submitting, you have to schedule an appointment at the embassy for your interview. It’s important to schedule as soon as possible because the workloads at those embassies vary and may determine the wait time before getting a decision.
Attend your interview with all the required visa application supporting documents, including the P3 approval notice. Since you already have the P3 approval, your DS160 petition should easily get approval if you meet all requirements.
If you’re already in the US, you can start participation once your sponsor gets P3 notice of approval.
How much does a P3 visa cost?
Your sponsor is to pay a $460 filing fee for the Form I-129 filing fee. On your part, you have to pay a $190 filing fee for Form DS-160. You may also have to pay $80 for biometrics service if necessary.
Residents in some countries pay for Visa Issuance Fee after approval, and the cost varies. Since most P3 qualifying programs are urgent, your application may require premium processing.
Premium visa processing costs $1,440. Form filing fees and other service fees are non-refundable. However, the USCIS will refund the premium processing fee if you don’t get a verdict within 15 days.
P3 Visa Processing Time
P3 visas generally take 2 to 8 weeks to process. In some cases, however, it may take 1 to 3 months.
Nevertheless, the processing time will depend on the workload of the embassy and how soon you schedule an interview. A request for further evidence can also prolong the processing time.
Premium processing takes just 15 calendar days.
Dependents of P3 Visa
Your dependents can come with you to the US by applying for P4 visas. Eligible dependents include spouses and unmarried children under 21. Your parents, in-laws, or children over 21 are ineligible for P4 dependent visas.
Your dependents can remain in the US so long as your P3 visa is valid. They cannot work, but they can engage in full-time or part-time study. Requirements for P4 visa application include:
- Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Form DS-160 application fee
- International passport
- International passport and copy of P3 visa of the main relative or Form I-129 confirmation if applying together.
- P3 notice of approval
- Evidence of relationship with the P3 visa holder; marriage certificate for spouses and birth certificate for children
P4 visa applicants will also attend an interview. Both P3 and P4 applicants can schedule interviews at the same time if applying together.
If the embassy approves the application, your dependents can travel with you or after you. They cannot travel before you. They can extend their visas whenever you extend your P4 visa.
P3 Visa Validity
P3 visas are valid for the period of time it takes to complete the program or event but will not exceed a year. Your sponsor will state this while filing Form I-129.
If the performance takes more than a year, you’ll have to apply for an extension after 12 months. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues extensions in one-year increments. Your sponsor has to file another Form I-129 to apply for an extension of stay.
The same validity of the main P3 visa also applies to dependents and supporting personnel. After your visa expires and your program is over, you have a 60-day grace period before leaving the US.
The same applies if your sponsor terminated the contract before the completion date. During this period, you can change employees to remain in the US. Your new employer has to obtain a new P3 approval notice on your behalf.
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P1 and P3 visas have the same application processes. However, P3 visas are for artists and entertainers performing in a culturally unique program, while P1 visas are for sportspersons and athletes.
The USCIS places no travel restrictions on P3 visas. With a valid P-3 visa, you can travel in and out of the United States at any time. The only limitation is that you cannot work for a different employer unless you file a new Form I-129.
The P-1 visa is of higher value than the P3 as it’s mainly for internationally recognized athletes, artists, and entertainers. It doesn’t come with the P-3 visa culturally unique requirement, so it’s easier to obtain if you qualify.
P3 visa holders cannot directly apply for a Green Card. If you want permanent residency, you’ll have to apply for a change of status to a visa classification that allows green card application.