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P3 Visas

(Artists and Entertainers under Culturally Unique Programs)

Filing the P3 Petition

A U.S. employer or agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent may petition the USCIS by submitting the following:

USCIS Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
USCIS Form I-129O/P Supplement, O and P classification Supplement to Form I-129
Copies of evidence describing your experience and skills
Proof of your standing as outstanding in your field
An official affidavit that confirms the existence of the culturally unique program
A contract and schedule of events describing terms and conditions of performance including pay, performance dates, and duration of contract
No objection letters from the union (or an advisory opinion from a peer group)
Written contract between your group and the sponsoring employer or agent, or, if there is no written contract, a thorough description of your oral agreement
An explanation of the event and its itinerary
Note: Individual performers must prove that they play an integral part in the performance of the event. The standard defined by the USCIS for P3 visa holders' is that performers must perform "an integral part of the performance which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the services."
After receiving and reviewing your petition, the USCIS notifies your sponsoring employer of its decision. When the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the Notice of Action Form I-797 to your sponsoring employer.
If you are overseas, the USCIS notifies the American Consulate nearest to your permanent residence. You must take the P3 approval notice to the consulate to obtain the P3 visa. If you are already in the U.S., you can start working for your employer as soon as you receive the approval notice.

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Premium Processing of the P3 Visa

You may have your P3 petition adjudicated within 15 calendar days by applying for premium processing.
For an additional fee of US $1,225, the USCIS guarantees a prompt decision on your P3 petition. You will receive either an approval notice, a request for further evidence, a notice of intent to deny the petition, or a notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within 15 calendar days from the date you applied for the premium processing of your P3 visa. If the USCIS fails to respond within 15 calendar days, it will return the $1,225 fee and continue to process the petition under the expedited process.

Applying for the P3 Visa at an American Consulate

To apply for the P3 visa, you must furnish the original or a copy of the Notice of Action, Form I-797A or B (the approval notice forwarded to your employer when the petition is approved). Your visa application must include the following documents:

DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
A copy of your passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
Passport style color photograph showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member. The photo may be uploaded at the time you compplete the DS-160
A letter from your U.S. employer detailing your position and a statement that you possess skills essential for the performance of the job offered

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