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Visa Options for Artists and Entertainers


While the U.S. offers several different types of visas for foreigners coming to the U.S., some of the less discussed visas are those for artists and entertainers. P and O visas are available to artists and entertainers coming to the US to work, teach or learn. The P visa is available to artists and entertainers who coordinate with reciprocal foreign exchange programs or are coming to the U.S. to teach a unique or cultural art form. The O-visa is available to artist and entertainers that can demonstrate an extraordinary ability and level of skill in the field. These visas also have a corresponding visa that is available for dependents.

P-2 Visa

The P-2 visa was created for artist and entertainers coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform. To obtain this visa, there must be a reciprocal exchange program between the U.S. and a foreign organization. There must be a program outside the U.S. that This reciprocal exchange agreement must be government recognized and the skill set of the entertainer must be similar to the performers or artists taking part in the exchange program outside of the U.S.

P-4 Visa for Family Members

Spouses and dependants may obtain a P-4 visa. This allows the entertainers family members to travel to the U.S. along with the P-2 visa holder.

P-3 Visa

A P-3 visa is available to artists or entertainers coming to the U.S. to teach, coach, develop or represent a unique or cultural tradition; such as a dance or musical performance. This visa can only be used for education purposes, such as furthering an understanding and development of the art form.

To receive this visa the applicants must have a sponsoring employer or organization. P-4 visa status is also available to family members of P-3 visa holders.


The O- Visa is for applicants that possess an extraordinary skill or ability in the fields of science, art, education, business or athletics. It is also available for those who can demonstrate an extraordinary achievement in film or television and has received national or international recognition in this area.

As part of the application process, the applicant must submit an advisory opinion from someone in the applicant's peer group or by someone with expertise in the area. This advisory opinion will be considered by the USCIS when making visa approval determinations. This requirement may be waived if the applicant can prove that the appropriate peer group does not exist. This determination will be made after the USCIS has considered appropriate evidence supporting this claim.

O-3 Visa for Dependents

Alike many other visas, the O-visa also has an option for dependents. Family members of an O-visa holder may apply for an O-3 visa and accompany the O-visa holder to the U.S.

Contact Us

Artists and entertainers planning to come over the U.S. may consider several different visa options. To discuss the P or O visas, visas for dependents or any other immigration issue, contact the Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal. Attorney Khandelwal has over 10 years of experience with immigration law and is conveniently located in the Silicon Valley.

Cited Sources:

P-2 Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program, July 15, 2015, USCIS

P-3 Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program, July 17, 2015, USCIS

O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement, September 14, 2015, USCIS

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