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General Information about the P-3 Visa

The P-3 visa is granted to internationally recognized alien athletes, artists, and entertainers whose performance, teaching or coaching is integral to the performance of a group performing under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique.

Applicants for P-3 visa must have foreign residences that they do not intend to abandon. This means that they must intend to come to the U.S. as temporary nonimmigrants and to depart at the end of their approved stays under P-3 status. Simultaneous filing for permanent residency is not a basis for denying a P-3 petition, extending the stay, changing the status, or admitting a P-3 alien to the U.S.

To sponsor an alien for P-3 petition, the sponsoring organization or a U.S. employer must file the P-3 petition in behalf of the alien in a culturally unique program. The petition may not be filed more than 6 months before the date of need for the alien's services.


The required documentation for P-3 visas are the following:

In addition, consultation with an appropriate labor organization must be submitted. For P-3 visas, consultation must be in the form of advisory opinion regarding the cultural uniqueness of the beneficiary's skills, whether the U.S. events will be predominantly cultural in nature, and whether the proposed U.S. activities meet P-3 standards.


A petition for a P-3 visa may be approved for a sufficient time period to complete the event, activity, or performance described in the petition, but not to exceed one year.


Dependents of P-3 aliens - spouses and unmarried minor children - may be entitled to P-4 nonimmigrant classification, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the alien beneficiary. However, employment is prohibited under P-4 classification.


Petitioner organizations or U.S. employers may request to extend the validity of an original petition in order to continue or complete the same activity or event specified in the original petition. Generally, supporting documents are not required but the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may request them. The P-3 status may be extended in increments of one year.


If the beneficiary alien will work for more than one employer within the same time period, each employer must file a separate petition at the Service Center with jurisdiction over the place where the services will be performed. Agent petitioners may file at a single Service Center regardless of the place of performance.


Multiple beneficiaries may be included in a P-3 petition if they are members of a group seeking classification on the basis of the group as an entity. All beneficiaries must be specifically named in the petition.


Where a petition relates to services that will be performed by the beneficiary in one location, an itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances must be included. Such petition should be filed where the petitioner is located.


A petitioner may request substation of beneficiaries in approved P-3 petitions for groups. This substitution is not applicable for individuals. A letter of request, plus a copy of the approval notice, may be forwarded to the consulate where the alien will apply for a visa or to the U.S. port of entry whether the alien group will apply for admission.


An alien under P-3 visa may change employer or sponsor provided that the latter file new I-129 petitions and extensions of stay for the alien. The new employment will not commence until there are approved by the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS.


P-3 aliens whose services are terminated involuntarily are entitled to return transportation to their last places of residence prior to entry into the U.S. Employers and petitioners are jointly and severally liable for reasonable transportation costs.


P-3 aliens are only admitted to perform services in "specific, identified" events, performances, competitions, or engagements. A P-3 visa may not be granted to an alien to enter the U.S. to freelance in the open market. The alien or group will be admitted only for the duration of the event, performance, competition, or engagement listed I the petition and extensions may be granted solely to complete the same activity.