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What Are the Requirements and Advantages for a P Visa?

Hi William:

I have a short term contract to perform in U.S. with an entertainment company. I do not know exactly which visa type is good for my situation. I am considering the P visa or O visa. What are the requirements and advantages for a P visa? 


P visa is a U.S. work visa, and it is available to outstanding athletes, athletic teams, and entertainment companies with a job offer from a U.S. employer. There is no annual limit for the number of people who can receive P visa. The P visas will be granted for the length of time needed to complete a particular event, up to a maximum of one year. However, P-1 athletes may be admitted for a period of up to five years, with one extension of up to five years. 

The key features of the P visa and some of the advantages/disadvantages of the P visa include:

  • The P visa holder can work legally in the U.S. for the P visa sponsor. If the alien wants to change jobs, getting a new visa will be necessary;
  • P visas can be issued relatively quickly;
  • A P visa holder may travel in and out of the U.S. or stay continuously for as long as the P visa and status are valid;
  • A spouse and unmarried children under age 21 may receive P-4 visas to accompany the P visa holder, but they may not accept employment in U.S.;
  • P visa holder's essential support personnel may also be granted P visa.

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