Every year, thousands of people travel to the United States to take part in artistic or cultural events. Entertainers and artists of all kinds, from all over the world, can potentially qualify to be a part of these events. As a result, there are several different visa types specifically for entertainers.
The P-3 visa is designated for “Artists or Entertainers Coming to be Part of a Culturally Unique Program.” It not only applies to artists or entertainers, but also to coaches and other support personnel. The P-3 visa is often used to help facilitate unique or unusual sporting events.
The P-3 Visa Program at a Glance
Both individuals and groups may be eligible for the P-3 visa. To qualify, you must be visiting the United States to develop, interpret, represent, coach or teach a traditional art form from your country. The proposed performance or presentation must be either unique or traditional as an expression of ethnic, folk, musical, theatrical or artistic tradition.
Securing a P-3 visa relies on participating in a qualifying event of some kind. The event should further the understanding or development of the art form to be practiced while in the country. The event can be commercial (that is, for profit) or it may be non-commercial. Whatever the case, it must be sponsored by a qualifying U.S. organization.
The P-3 confers the following benefits:
- You are permitted to travel freely throughout the U.S. on your intended business;
- You may apply for up to one year of visa validity, depending on the event’s duration;
- You can apply to extend the P-3 visa in one-year increments without leaving the U.S.;
- Your spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21) may qualify for the P-4 visa;
- P-4 visa holders, in turn, are legally permitted to attend U.S. school or college.
Documenting Your Intended Visit
Documenting your visit requires the sponsoring U.S. organization to submit Form I-129. This form includes details about the visit’s purpose, including a detailed itinerary if qualifying events will take place in more than one location. After Form I-129 is approved, the visitor should apply for a visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as possible.
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