O and P Visas
Millar & Hayes Immigration Lawyers has experience preparing O and P visa applications for clients from a wide range of professional and artistic backgrounds. If you are interested in learning more about O and P visas, contact us or schedule a consultation.
The O-1 visa is designated for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. There is no prevailing wage requirement, the O-1 visa may be extended indefinitely and there is no numerical limit to the number of O-1 visas issued each year.
The P-1 visa is designated for entertainers, performers, and athletes who are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific competition or event. An athlete who wishes to remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time should apply for an O-1 visa.
Eligibility for O-1 Visas
Persons who wish to qualify for an O-1 visa must provide evidence of their extraordinary abilities. While the evidence will vary from one field to another and from one applicant to the next, the applicant must generally show that he or she has risen to the top of the field. Examples of evidence of extraordinary ability include:
- Awards and prizes
- Membership in associations that require outstanding achievement
- Notable publications in appropriate professional or scholarly journals or other media
- Significant original contributions to the field
- Employment at distinguished organizations in the field
Not everyone will qualify for an O-1 visa, and the best approach is to consult with an attorney before applying.
O-2 and O-3 Visas
The O-2 visa is designated for persons who accompany and assist an O-1 visa holder in a specific athletic or artistic event or in the motion picture or television industry. O-2 visas are not available for those who accompany or assist O-1 visa holders in education, science, or business. The applicant must demonstrate his or her skills and experience and importance to the event.
Spouses and children of the O-2 visa holder may obtain an O-3 visa. The O-3 visa holder is authorized to study but not to work in the U.S.
Eligibility for P-1 Visas
The P-1A visa is available to internationally recognized athletes. The P-1B visa is available to members of internationally recognized entertainment groups.
The P-2 Visa is designated for artists or entertainers entering the U.S. temporarily as a part of an exchange program to perform individually or as part of a group. There must be a government-recognized exchange program between a U.S. organization and an organization from another country.
A sponsoring organization or employer in the U.S. must petition for the exchange artist or entertainer and submit all required evidence. Among other things, the petition must demonstrate that the sponsored artist or entertainer has skills and conditions of employment similar to those of U.S. artists or entertainers in the relevant U.S. organization.
The P-3 visa is designated for persons coming temporarily to the U.S. to perform, teach, or coach as artists or entertainers in a culturally unique program. The program may be commercial or noncommercial in nature.
A sponsoring U.S. employer, agent, or organization must submit a petition on behalf of the artist or entertainer and submit all required evidence. Among other things, the petition must demonstrate that the beneficiary has the requisite skills and that all performances will be culturally unique.
The spouse and unmarried children under age 21 of the P-3 visa holder may obtain a P-4 visa. The P-4 visa authorizes attendance at school or college but does not provide employment authorization.