O & P VISAS – Extraordinary Talent

Boston & Miami Artist Visa Attorneys

O & P Temporary Worker Visas

The O non-immigrant visa category enables foreign nationals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability or extraordinary achievement in a variety of fields, or those who have critical skills and experience with such an individual, to obtain a temporary working visa.

The P non-immigrant visa category is available to foreign entertainment groups, athletes, or entertainers who wish to enter the United States temporarily to perform under a reciprocal exchange program or to teach in a program that is culturally unique.

  • O-1 classification applies to persons who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field;
  • O-2 classification applies to persons accompanying an O-1 alien to assist in an artistic or athletic performance for a specific event or performance;
  • P-1 classification applies to individual or team athletes, or members of an entertainment group that are internationally recognized (25,000);
  • P-2 classification applies to artists or entertainers who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program; and,
  • P-3 classification applies to artists or entertainers who perform under a program that is culturally unique (same as P-1).

Who Qualifies for an O Visa?

Foreign nationals may be issued an O visa if:

  • The individual has demonstrated extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or extraordinary achievement in the field of film or television, proven by sustained national or international acclaim or receipt of internationally recognized awards.
  • The individual wishes to enter the U.S. temporarily to work in their area of expertise.
  • The individual, with critical skills and experience, assists in the artistic or athletic performance of an O visa holder for a specific event(s), and is an integral part of the actual performance.
  • The individual is a spouse or child of an O visa holder, and is entering the U.S. to accompany or join the principal.

Who Qualifies for a P Visa?

The P visa may be issued to a foreign national who is temporarily coming to the United States:

  • To perform individually or as part of a team at an athletic competition with an internationally recognized level of performance; or,
  • To perform with an entertainment group that has been internationally recognized in its field. provided the individual has had at least a one-year relationship with the group as a performer or provides functions integral to the performance; or,
  • To perform in a reciprocal exchange program which is between a U.S. organization and one or more foreign organizations that provide for the exchange of artists and entertainers; or,
  • To perform, teach or coach as an individual or part of a group in a program that is culturally unique.

What Must the Employer Do?

Petitions for O and P visas may be filed by U.S. or foreign employers, or an authorized U.S. agent with the Immigration Regional Service Center having jurisdiction over the place of intended employment. Authorized U.S. agents are those who usually arrange short-term employment on behalf of self-employed individuals. The petitions must be filed with accompanying documentation to prove that the individual is qualified for the visa.

In most cases, the employer must also obtain a consultation from an appropriate union or peer group (and management organization for motion picture and television cases) regarding the nature of the work to be done and the qualifications of the foreign national.

How Long Can the Employee Stay in the U.S.?

An O petition may be granted for the period of time required to accomplish the event(s) or activities stated in the petition, but may not exceed three (3) years. Further extensions are available.

P visas may be granted for the period of time required to complete the competition or event for which the individual or group has been admitted, but not to exceed one year. Extensions of stay may be approved for individual athletes and his/her essential support personnel for up to five years but not longer than ten years. Athletic teams, entertainment groups, and individuals in reciprocal exchange programs or culturally unique programs may be granted extensions in increments of one year to continue or complete the activity or event for which they were admitted.

If you feel that you qualify for an Artist Visa, please contact our office so that we might evaluate the merits of your application. Mercado & Rengel has successfully prepared petitions for numerous artists, athletes and others.