P Visas for athletic teams and entertainment groups
What are the differences between O visas and P visas?
The O visas are for individual persons of extraordinary ability, distinction or achievements. The P visas
are for groups such as a football team or a choir or a circus. The O visas require proof of extraordinary
ability, but P visas do not need to provide proof of extraordinary ability. P visas can be issued on
evidence that show a high level of achievement, high level of skill or high level of distinction. It can be
issued to athletic teams or cultural entertainment groups that have won competitions in their country
and will compete internationally in the US.
The P visa may be applied for by a US sponsoring organization (for example, the Miss Universe Charities
Foundation can apply for P visas for the beauty queens who will compete for the annual Miss Universe
competition). A US agent or employer may also file the application for P visas.
The O visas are available to fields of endeavor such as science or mathematics but the P visas are open
for the fields of the arts and sports only.
What are the similarities of the O and the P visas?
Both are appropriate for foreign nationals who want to enter the US temporarily. The purpose of their
visit to the US is to perform or to participate in an event or series of events. Both visas are appropriate
for those persons who have no intent to migrate to the United States: to work or live permanently in the
US. Both the P and the O visas must be applied for by the employer or agent in the US; the visa holder
What sub-classifications of P visas are there?
The P-1 visa is for athletic or sports teams that will attend a sporting event in the US; it is also for
entertainment groups such as a theater company or a corps de ballet.
The P-2 visa is for entertainment groups for reciprocal exchange.
The P-3 visa is for entertainment groups that provide culturally unique performances; their purpose for
entering the US is to perform, compete, coach or teach others in a style of artistic expression that is
particular to a country, nation, ethnicity, religion, or tribe. The purpose of the performance is to teach or
represent a unique or traditional ethnic, folk or cultural presentation to further the understanding of the
Support personnel such as coaches, trainers, doctors and managers may also qualify for a P-1, P-2 or P-3
visas. The spouses and dependent children of P-1, P-2 and P-3 visa holders may accompany the principal
visa holder to visit the US.
What documents are necessary for a P visa?
The following documents must be presented to support a P visa application:
- If the members of the sports team or entertainment group are employed, they must provide
copies of their employment contract.
- The itinerary, including the dates of the event or series of events must be provided.
- A description of the competition, performance or event they will participate in
- Information from the foreign national or the foreign national’s government attesting to their
- Copies of resumes, curriculum vitae, work or employment history
- Copies of educational degrees
- Proof that the members of the sports team or entertainment group qualify for the criteria in the
event or competition they will participate in.
- Proof that the members of the team or the group have been performing together for at least
- For groups or teams entering the US on a reciprocal exchange, the formal agreement between
the foreign organization and the US sponsoring organization must be presented.
If you need help gathering and presenting documents that prove high skill or achievement, the
immigration lawyers from Lluis Law can help you. Call Lluis Law today.