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Working in the United States
P-2 Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program
The P-2 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.
You must be an artist entering the United States through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program. In addition, you must possess skills comparable to those of the United States artists and entertainers taking part in the program outside the United States.
In order for you to qualify for a P-2 Visa, a sponsoring labor organization in the United States, or your U.S. employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. For more information about the Form, 129, see the “Form 1-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right.
Please note that a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”.
Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.
Applying for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
Once the visa petition is approved, you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees, see the “Department of State, travel.state.gov” link to the right.
Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay or change of employment.
For more information see the “Extend my Stay” and “Change my Nonimmigrant Status” links to the right.
Change of Employer
You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.
Family of P-2 Visa Holders
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.
Essential Support Personnel
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. Support personnel may include stagehands, trainers, or those persons having critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed.
The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:
Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/04/2010
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