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Answers to Your Questions about P-3 Nonimmigrant Visa for Artists or Entertainers in a Culturally Unique Program


Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: I own a for-profit Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical) dance school and I wish to bring a Bharatanatyam dance teacher to teach this art form and to perform at several venues to promote the art form. What kind of visa should we apply for the teacher and performer?
A: Yourschool may petition for a P-3 visa for the Indian Classical dance teacher and performer. The P-3 visa classification is applicable to individuals who are coming temporarily to the US to perform, teach or coach as artist or entertainers, individually or part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.
Q: My organization wishes to bring in a group of Nigerian traditional musicians to tour and perform for 3 months.We also like to bring in lighting technician to assist with the presentation of their performance.Can all of these individuals come to the US with a P-3 visa? Can we just file one petition to cover all the musicians and the lighting technician?
A: The musicians who will be performing a culturally unique art form will come on P-3 visas. For the lighting technician, if he is essential support personnel whose services constitute an integral part of the performance of the P-3 musicians and provides support services which cannot be readily performed by a US worker, he will also be eligible for P-3 classification. In such a case, your organization will have to file two separate petitions – one for the traditional musicians and the other for the essential support personnel.
Q: What is the duration for a P-3 visa?
A: The P-3 visa is for the duration of the performance or tour but may not exceed a period of one year.
Q: What documents are needed for a P-3 visa petition? What Form do we need to use to request for P-3 classification?
A: You will need to provide documentation that the group’s performance is culturally unique, proof of the artiste’s abilities in the claimed culturally unique form of art as evidenced by published reviews, release of CDs and DVDs etc., a consultation letter from an appropriate labor union about the cultural uniqueness of the art form, a contract or agreement between the sponsor/petitioner and the artiste to provide services such as coaching, performing etc., and an itinerary or schedule of performance.The petition is filed on Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker together with the O and P Supplement to Form I-129.
Q: I have been on the P-3 visa for the past two months. I will be completing my tour within 6 weeksand my P-3 visa will expire by then. Another organization wishes to engage my culturally unique services for another 6 weeks. What does the new sponsor need to do in order for me to provide my services to them?
A: The new sponsor will need to file a new I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to request for a change of employer or sponsor and to apply for an extension of your P-3 status. In your case, the petition should be filed as soon as possible and prior to the expiry of your present P-3 stay. It is advisable to utilize the Premium Processing option offered by USCIS for an approval of the case within 15 calendar days. Theregular Filing Fee for the I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker is $460.00 and if Premium Processing is requested,please include an additional $1,225.00 to the Filing Fee.
Q: Can the spouse and minor children of a P-3 visa holder obtain a dependent visa?
A: Yes. The spouse and minor children of a P-3 visa holder can apply for the P-4 dependent visa.Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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