P-2 Visas

P-2 Artist Exchange and Essential Personnel Visa

The P-2 visa applies to artists and entertainers traveling to the United States for the purpose of performing as an artist or entertainer either individually or as part of a group, pursuant to a government recognized reciprocal exchange program between an American organization and foreign organization. The coverage of this category also extends to essential personnel who form an integral part of the performance of the individual artist or group. The aliens for whom the P-2 category is being sought must be experienced artists or entertainers with comparable skills to that of American artists or entertainers taking part in an exchange program abroad.

P-2 Requirements for Exchange Artists or Entertainers

The following is a list of some documents that should be included in the P-2 visa petition along with USCIS Form I-129 Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker and P Supplement for exchange artists or entertainers. An I-129 petition cannot be filed by the P-2 alien. Instead the sponsoring organization, U.S. employer, or U.S. labor organization must file the I-129 petition on the alien’s behalf. Additionally, a petition for a support person must be filed separately by the petitioner. The following list is not all inclusive and specific details pertaining to your application should be discussed with a licensed attorney in detail. Additional documents may be necessary depending on the specific case.

The list includes but is not limited to the following items:

  • Biographical documents of the alien such as a copy of passport ID page, copies of current or previous U.S. visa ID pages, copy of alien’s I-94 arrival/departure record (if applicable);
  • Alien’s Resume or CV;
  • The petitioner must provide a written consultation from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the corresponding discipline (if applicable) describing the work or services to be performed in the United States and the alien’s qualifications necessary to perform the services;
  • A copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the U.S. organization or organizations which sponsor the foreign nationals and an organization or organizations in a foreign country which will receive the U.S. artist or entertainers;
  • A statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of U.S. artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which P-2 classification is being sought;
  • Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the U.S. was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers;
  • Evidence that the foreign nationals for whom P-2 classification is being sought and the U.S. artists or entertainers subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement are artists or entertainers with comparable skills, and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar;
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Essential Support Personnel of P-2 Aliens

Support personnel who form an integral part of the performance of either the P-2 artist or entertainer and who are otherwise essential to the performance of the P-2 alien, can obtain a visa under the P-2 visa classification. Petitioner’s must demonstrate that the support person is highly skilled, essential to the performance of the P-2 alien, meets the qualifications to perform a support role, maintains critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed, maintains experience in providing the needed support to the P-2 alien, and demonstrate that he or she performs support services that cannot readily be performed by a U.S. worker. Support personnel may include stagehands, trainers, or other persons with critical knowledge of the services to be performed. Support persons cannot file a petition on their own behalf, instead the sponsoring organization, U.S. employer, or U.S. labor organization negotiating the agreement otherwise known as the ‘petitioner’ must file a separate USCIS Form I-129 Petition for Non-immigrant Worker on their behalf along with P supplement.

The U.S. Employer/Petitioner should include the following supporting documents along with the alien’s petition:

  • Biographical documents of the alien such as copy of passport ID page, copies of current or previous U.S. visa ID pages, copy of alien’s I-94 arrival/departure record (if applicable);
  • Alien’s Resume or CV;
  • A consultation from the appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill;
  • A statement from the petitioner describing the person’s experience, critical skills, and essentially to the P-2 alien;
  • A copy of the written contract between the U.S. employer and support person describing the terms of the agreement or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement consented to by the alien;
  • Other relevant documentation to demonstrate the support personnel’s significant skill level in the area of expertise and experience performing the essential support services to the P-2 alien;
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Stay and Extensions

The duration for which the P-2 visa is issued is the time necessary to complete the specific competition, event, or performance. Initially P-2 aliens are issued visas of no more than 1 year Extensions may be sought to continue performance in the event or performance for a maximum period of 1 year applied for in increments.

Dependents

The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of P-2 aliens can obtain P-4 derivative status. Dependents cannot seek employment, but can attend school or college under this classification.

Frequently Asked Questions about P visa
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