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P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program

Alert: On May 29, 2020, USCIS announced that premium processing would resume for Form I-129 and Form I-140 petitions in phases over the month of June. Read more here: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions.

The P-3 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.

Eligibility Criteria

For a P-3 visa, you must be coming to the United States either individually or as a group for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. In addition, you must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events that will further the understanding or development of your art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

Application Process

A U.S. employer or U.S. sponsoring organization must submit Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. For more information about the Form I-129, see the Form 1-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker page.

The required conditions for a petitioner can be found in the memorandum Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications. (PDF, 889.64 KB)

Supporting Documents

Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization 
  • A copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or the summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the petitioner and the beneficiary under which you will be employed 
  • An explanation of the event or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary 
  • Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of your or your 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 your or your group’s skills; OR documentation that your or your group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials 
  • Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events 

Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple locations, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.

Notification to Consulate (or Port of Entry) or Extension of Stay

On Form I-129, the petitioner may request to notify the consulate upon approval or request to extend the beneficiary’s stay in the United States.

For more information see the Extend my Stay and Change my Nonimmigrant Status pages.

Once USCIS approves the P-3 visa petition, the beneficiary can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for the visa (if required). The Department of State (DOS) establishes visa application processing and issuance fees. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees, see the Department of State’s Temporary Workers Visas page. 

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay Extension of Stay
Time needed to complete the event, activity or performance, not to exceed 1 year Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, activity or performance.

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 start your employment with the new employer or sponsor until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Family of P-3 Visa Holders

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. They are subject to the same period of admission and limitations as your P-1 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- 3 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, and which are essential to the successful performance of services by the P-1 or P-2, are eligible for P-3 classification. 

The petitioner must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel.  The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an appropriate labor organization 
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-3 artist or entertainer 
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed  

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