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Athletes, Artists and Entertainers

Any professional entertainer, including musicians, dancers, actors, artist etc.; going to give a public presentation or sell or exhibit works will need to apply for a P visa before traveling to the US. This applies regardless of whether there is an admission charge.

This also applies to any athlete who will be receiving money other than prize money (for example, receiving $1,000 for participating in a tournament).

With limited exceptions, professional athletes, artists and entertainers will need to apply for a P visa before they can compete or perform in the US.

A work visa is issued based on an approved petition from the Department of Homeland Security.

Filing a petition with USCIS 

The employment must be approved in advance by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States on the basis of a petition, form I-129, filed by the employer with the USCIS Service Center. 

You may opt to pay a premium processing fee and file form I-907, which provides for petition processing within 15 calendar days. Please see the USCIS website for information regarding current procedures and prices. Any questions which you may have concerning this process should be addressed to the appropriate USCIS office in the United States.

Applying for the Visa

On approval of the petition, you may apply for the visa.  Please review the following steps before beginning your visa application.

In addition to the four basic requirements P visa applicants will need to bring the I-797- Notice of action (also called the petition)to their interviews.

(If you have ever arrested and/or have a criminal conviction, have a medical ineligibility, or have been denied entry into or deported from the United States you will be required to furnish documents relating to your situation in support of your application.  Please click on the relevant links for further information.)

Reminder: We always recommend that individuals apply for visas well in advance of their proposed date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of the passport.

Urgent Application?

  • Please make sure you bring in all required items for your interview. Failure to bring all items listed on our checklist may result in having to book a new appointment and is the most common reason for delays.