P-2 Visa – Artists and Entertainers in Exchange Programs

What is the P-2 Visa for exchange programs?

P-2 visas are available to artists or entertainers, either individually or as part of a group, who come to the U.S. to perform under a reciprocal exchange program between the U.S. and one or more other countries. The P-2 visa does not require the same level of accomplishments required for the P-1 visa, however a reciprocal exchange agreement is imperative.

An example of this reciprocal interaction could include an organization providing musical performances and an organization in one or more foreign countries that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers, or a group of artists and entertainers with the U.S. All of the essential support personnel are included in the visa application and may accompany the artist or entertainer to the United States, as well.

For information on P-1 Visas for artists and entertainers, as well as entertainment groups not involved in reciprocal exchange programs, read our section here.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the P-2 Visa for artists and entertainers in exchange programs, please contact our experienced U.S. immigration lawyers in Los Angeles for a free consultation now.


Visa for band


Who is eligible for a P-2 Visa?

In order to qualify for a P-2 visa, the exchange of artists must be similar in terms of caliber of artists and entertainers, terms and conditions of employment (such as length of employment and number of individuals involved in the exchange). Additionally, noncitizens who qualify as essential support personnel may be granted P-2 classification so that they may accompany the artist or entertainer.

The P-2 Visa applicant must also:

  • have skills and terms of employment comparable to the person or group coming to the United States.
  • prove the legitimacy of the program by presenting a formal, written exchange agreement
  • be the recipient of a negotiation of exchange between a labor union in the U.S. that agreed to the exchange.


If you need assistance with applying for the P-2 Visa, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced U.S. visa and immigration attorneys. We offer expert legal counsel and can help you today!


entertainment visa


What else does my employer need to provide with my application?

Just as with all P-Visa petitions, the P-2’s sponsoring labor organization or U.S. employer must file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with the appropriate USCIS service center, along with the correct application fee and required supporting documentation.

The following documentation needs to be included:

  • A written consultation by an appropriate labor organization describing the work or services to be performed in the U.S. and the noncitizen’s qualifications for such work. However, if no appropriate labor organization exists, then this requirement will be excused;
  • A copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the sponsoring U.S. organization(s) and the organization(s) in a foreign country which will receive the U.S. artist or entertainer
  • A statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of United States artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which classification is sought;
  • Evidence that you and the U.S. artist or entertainer subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement are artists with comparable skills and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar; and
  • Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the United States was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers.
  • If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary listing the dates and locations of the events must be included with the petition.


If you are an employer seeking to bring an artist or entertainer to the United States for a temporary basis, contact our experienced immigration counsel now for a free consultation with an expert. We offer competitive rates and great service!


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What happens after my petition is approved by USCIS?

Once the petition has been approved by USCIS, the noncitizen may then apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a P-2 visa, which will allow them to request admission into the United States at a port of entry.


How long can I stay in the U.S. on my P-2 Visa?

A P-2 nonimmigrant visa is usually granted for the duration of time needed to complete the event, competition or performance in the United States for which the visa is obtained.  This period of valid stay cannot exceed one year.   In order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance, a P-2 visa holder may request an extension of time on the visa, and USCIS may extend the visa stay time in increments of up to one year.


family immigration visa


Can I bring my family to accompany me to the U.S. after I obtain a P-2 Visa?

Family members of P-2 nonimmigrants are eligible to apply for P-4 status.  This means that with the P-4 visa,  spouses and minor children can accompany the P-2 holder to the United States.   P-4 holders  may attend school or college to study, however, please note that they are not permitted to legally work while in the United States.


Can the essential support staff of the artist/entertainer apply for a P-2 visa?

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P- 2 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-2 classification.

Stagehands, trainers, or those persons having critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed often qualify as support personnel for the purposes of the visa.  Please see our section here for more information on essential support personnel qualifications.


Does the P visa offer me any other immigration options in the United States?

Yes, many P visa holders can apply to obtain a U.S. green card. For more detailed information read our section on P visa to Green Card.

Contact us now for your free consultation and see what U.S. immigration and Visa options are available to you!

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