Are you an athlete, performer or artist wishing to work in the U.S.?
If you are foreign national planning to participate in a sporting event, performance or concert in the United States, then you need to obtain a visa before arriving at the U.S. border. Even if you are visiting for a single performance or event, the government requires a special employment visa for this purpose.
Many entertainment visas need to be filed and obtained within a specific duration before your arrival in the United States. For example, category P visas must be filed within a year of arrival – if filed one year and two months before your land in the U.S. the application will be denied. These procedural requirements are common stumbling blocks for entertainers, artists, and athletes that want to showcase their talent in the United States.
An L.A. immigration law firm with specific experience in entertainment visas can make certain your visa application is filed correctly and accurately. Without the appropriate visa, your income, compensation and stay in the U.S. are all in jeopardy.
What Are Entertainment Visas?
Entertainment visas are a specific and narrow type of employment visa for a limited duration of work, training, or performance in the United States. In most instances, these visas are reserved for the highest caliber of artist, entertainer, and athlete. These visas require some very specific knowledge and insight of an immigration attorney to garner government approval. Unlike, applications for permanent residency or naturalization, entertainment visas are only provided on a non-immigration, limited duration basis.
There are two broad categories of non-immigration entertainment visas – called P and O visas. The differences between these categories are the duration and purpose of your temporary stay in the United States. Similar to other types of temporary visas, such as student visas, selecting the appropriate visa scheme is essential.
Are You Eligible?
Given the number of entertainment visas available, many entertainers and athletes plan specific, and costly, trips to the United States, only to find that their visa was of the wrong type or allowance. Engaging a U.S.-based immigration attorney can help avoid complications with U.S. immigration in the days and hours before a performance or engagement.
|Short-Term Entertainment Visa:||Eligibility Requirements:|
|P-1 (Athletes)||A visa specific to athletes and members of athletic teams. This is a temporary, limited duration visa that allows such athletes to participate in a match, game or other sporting endeavor and legally receive compensation and payment for participating / competing in the event(s).|
|P-1 (Performers)||The P-1 visa is also applicable to members of an entertainment group. In this variance, each member must apply for and obtain the appropriate P-1 visa, and the eligibility requirements state that the performance group must be internationally recognized.|
|P-2||Must be an artist or entertainer and must be participating in a reciprocal exchange program for cultural purposes. This is a narrow and very limited visa for the purpose of cultural exchange and development.|
|P-3||Only artists and entertainer are eligible for the P-3 visa, and it is specific to those artists and entertainers that are culturally significant. This visa is admits both solo performers and groups to the U.S. to perform, teach, coach, develop, interpret, or represent a unique or traditional art.|
|P-4||Appropriate visa for the spouses and other dependents of an artist, athlete or performer that is coming to the U.S. This visa is very specific and only allows these individuals entry in the United States to accompany an athlete, entertainer, or performer already approved under a different visa scheme.|
|P||Allow essential support personnel to accompany an athlete, artist and performer in the U.S. for a limited duration. Must accompany an individual that is already approved for a limited employment visa.|
While P visas have specific eligibility requirements above and beyond those required for visitor visas and even some employment visas, the standards for the P visas are lower than what is required of applicants for an O-1 or O-2 visa. The heightened standards are directly related to the duration of stay allowed under an O visa. If approved, an applicant could remain in the United States up to three years for an initial stay, and O visas are often extended.
|Long-Term Entertainment Visa:||Eligibility Requirements:|
|O-1||Only applicable to individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement. This achievement must be in sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture, or television. The individual must have international recognition for this extraordinary ability or achievement and provide evidence of this recognition. Must provide specific information on performances and other engagements, including start and end dates. The O-1 visa should be filed at least 45 days before the first paid employment in the U.S.|
|O-2||Applicable to individuals providing essential support services and critical skills to an individual coming to the U.S. under an O-1 visa. Must provide evidence of the O-1 visa application and confirmation that O-1 applicant meets those eligibility requirements. Must provide evidence of how and why O-2 applicant must accompany O-1 applicant, and show essential function for production of a motion picture or film, if that is the purpose of the O-1 applicant’s visit.|
Are you, or an artist, performer or athlete and denied an entertainment visa to the U.S.?
Greco Neyland, PC provides legal services across a broad range of immigration issues and matters. Our L.A. immigration firm advises individuals looking to submit their visa application for the first time and represents those who were denied a visa, application for permanent residency, or even asylum.
Irrespective of your immigration concern, our first step is to understand your specific circumstances and needs. Then our experienced immigration attorneys outline the best path to performing and staying in the United States. Throughout the entire visa process, including after approval and arrival, you can rely on Greco Neyland to keep you informed of the legal intricacies and possible outcomes at all times.
We are L.A.’s entertainment and temporary visa lawyers, and we are here to help.
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