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

What is the P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa?

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.

What are the P-3 Nonimmigrant

Visa Eligibility Requirements?

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 which will further the understanding or development of your art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

What is the P-3 Nonimmigrant

Visa Application Process?

Your U.S. employer or sponsoring organization must submit Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker.

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.  

What Supporting Documents are needed for the P-2 Nonimmigrant Visa ?

Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization

  • 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 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 areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.

What is the Period of Stay for a

P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa?

The Initial Period of Stay for a P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa:

Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year.

What is the Extension of Stay for a 

P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa?

Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.

NOTE: Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay or change of employment.

What Do I Do If I Have a Change of Employer While Holding a P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa?

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.

Can Family of P-3 Visa Holders Come to 

The United States of America?

Yes, the P-3 Visa Holders' spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status.

Can Family of P-3 Visa Holders Work While in  

The United States of America?

No, P-2 Visa Holders' dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.

Can Essential Support Personnel of P-3 Visa Holders Come to The United States of America?

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, are eligible for P-3 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees.

The U.S. employer 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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