P-3 Visa: Culturally Unique Artists and Entertainers

What is the P-3 Visa and is it Right for Me?

An individual artist or entertainer or group of artists or entertainers who wish to come to the United States for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation may be able to obtain a P-3 cultural visa.

The artist, entertainer or group should be involved in cultural exchange programs aimed at furthering the understanding or development of the particular cultural art form. The program that is presenting the art form may be either a commercial or non-commercial enterprise.

The term "culturally unique" has been defined as a particular style or artistic expression, which is unique to a certain country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe or other group of persons typically not available to the United States.  Additionally, noncitizens who qualify as essential support personnel may be accorded P-3 classification to accompany the artist or entertainer.

Not a member of a culturally unique entertainment group? Visit our section on other P visa applications here.




What are the requirements for a P-3 visa?

For the P-3 visa, you must be coming to the U.S. to participate in a cultural event or events that will further the understanding or development of an art form.

In addition, the employer will have to submit on the applicant's behalf:


  • statements from recognized experts showing the authenticity of the person or group’s skills in performing, presenting, coaching, or teaching the unique or traditional art form and showing the basis of knowledge of the person or group’s skill, or
  • evidence that the person or group’s art form is culturally unique, as shown by reviews in newspapers, journals, or other published materials, and that the performance will be culturally unique.

If you have any questions or concerns about obtaining a P visa or any other employment visa in the United States, contact our immigration attorneys in Los Angeles for a free consultation.


P-3 visa


How do I apply for a P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa?

The P-3 visa application process is similar to other P Visa applications. A sponsoring labor organization or U.S. employer must file a Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker with the appropriate USCIS service center for the beneficiary. The application should be submitted along with the application fee and required supporting documentation.

You will need to provide:

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization (if one exists) describing the work or services to be performed in the U.S. and the noncitizen’s qualifications for such work.
  • A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or the summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the petitioner and the beneficiary;
  • An explanation of the event and itinerary;
  • Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of the noncitizen or the group’s skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert, including the basis of his or her knowledge of the noncitizen or the group’s skills; or documentation that the noncitizen or group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials;
  • Documentation that illustrate that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique event
  • If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary listing the dates and locations of the events must be submitted.


If you are an employer seeking to bring an athlete or performer to the United States, call or email our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys at JCS Immigration and Visa for a free consultation.


Can I change my U.S. employer on a P Visa?

Yes, in some circumstances USCIS may allow you to change employers. USCIS only sanctions this after your new employer has filed a new petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay.

You may not commence your employment with the new employer until the petition application has been approved.


Immigration Application


How long can I stay in the U.S. on a P-3 Visa?

A P-3 nonimmigrant visa is granted for the duration of time needed to complete the event, activity or performance in the United States for which the visa was obtained. The time period for a P-3 visa cannot exceed one year.

You may seek an extension of time on your visa, and duration of valid stay may be granted in increments of up to one year. However, it is important to note that the time extension is only granted in order to continue or complete the original event, activity or performance and cannot be requested for frivolous reasons.


Family Immigration


Can I bring my family while I am in the U.S. as a P-3 Visa Holder?

Family members of P-3 nonimmigrants are eligible to apply for P-4 status. This means that spouses and minor children can accompany the P-3 holder to the United States. The family members may attend school or college and study in the U.S. However, it is important to note that P-4 holders are not permitted to legally work while in the United States.

If you need assistance in applying for P-4 visas to bring your family to the U.S. while you are here, please contact our experienced team of immigration lawyers in Los Angeles.


Green Card Spouse


Can I apply for a Green Card in the United States?

Yes, many P visa holders can apply to obtain a U.S. green card. For more detailed information on the way in which a P visa holder can obtain a U.S. Green Card, please read more here.

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