P-3 Visas for Culturally Unique Artists

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| The P-3 Visa
For Artists or Entertainers of Culturally Unique Programs

The most appropriate visa for a person who performs as an artist or entertainer, in an
individual capacity or as part of a group, where such a person is an integral part of the
performance and is planning to enter the United States temporarily and solely to
perform, teach or coach in a program that is culturally unique, is referred to as the "P-3"

The P-3 visa allows the artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, to come to the
US to develop, interpret, represent, coach or teach a unique or traditional artistic,
cultural, ethnic, folk, musical or theatrical performance or presentation.

It is temporary in that it is only available for the period of time in which the
beneficiary or beneficiaries will be actively engaged in performances. It is not the
appropriate visa for permanent status.

The P-3 visa is filed by a sponsoring organization or U.S. employer for foreign persons
who wish to perform, teach or coach in a commercial or noncommercial program that is
"culturally unique."

What is Considered a Culturally unique program?

   (1) A style or artistic expression, methodology or medium which is unique to a
       particular country, nation, society, class ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other group of
   (2) The artist or entertainer has achieved excellence in developing, interpreting,
       representing, coaching or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural,
       musical, theatrical or artistic performance; and
   (3) The artist or entertainer is coming to the U.S. to promote and facilitate that art

Thus, there are two major requirements:

      It must be demonstrated that the persons have achieved excellence in their
       field; and
      The artist's trip is for the sole purpose of promoting and facilitating the art
How to Document the Case:

These requirements seem fairly straightforward. However, there is documentation
that is required to substantiate the claims that the person is acting in the context
of a culturally unique program. The necessary documents must establish the

   1, The person/s have been involved in a culturally unique program for a substantial
   period. There is a burden to prove that the performers are highly respected
   and well-known in their field of art. It is also necessary to prove that the artist
   or troupe will be working within the context of a culturally unique program.

   2. The person or group has achieved national or international recognition or acclaim.

   3. The person/s or group/s skills are authentic and excellent as attested through
   letters, expert opinions or testimonials.

   4. The majority of the performances will be culturally unique events.

   5. An Advisory Opinion is required from an appropriate labor organization
   regarding the beneficiary’s qualifications and the nature of work to be performed.
   Such advisory opinion must be submitted along with the petition for the P Visa. A
   favorable advisory should evaluate the cultural uniqueness of the individual’s skills,
   state whether the events are cultural in nature and state whether the event or activity
   is appropriate for P-3 visa classification. Alternatively, if a labor organization has no
   objection to the approval of the petition, they may submit a letter of no objection.

The Engagement(s)

   It is also necessary to note that if there exists more than one geographic area in
   which the Beneficiary will perform, there must be a submission of the itinerary. If the
   agent of the group is the Petitioner, there must be submission of the itinerary and the

Duration of Stay:

   P-3 Visa holders including their support personnel can get an extension in
   increments of 1 year to continue or complete the same event or activity for which
   they were originally admitted.

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Description: P-3 Visa Overview for Culturally Unique Artists and Entertainers