The P-2 Visa Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group) is a nonimmigrant visa that allows artists and entertainers to enter the United States temporarily as part of an exchange program. Artists and entertainers are often required to have sponsorship from a U.S. employer or organization. The P-2 Visa is also used by groups, such as dance troupes or circus acts, who are coming to perform in the United States for a limited time period under contract with an entertainment group or company based in the United States.
The P-2 visa category is for individuals or groups of artists or entertainers who want to visit the United States on a temporary basis as part of a reciprocal exchange program. This exchange program should involve two organizations, one in the United States and one overseas that facilitates the temporary interchange of artists and entertainers.
Eligibility Criteria and Application Process
Eligibility Criteria for P-2 Visa: In order to qualify for a P-2 artist visa, there are some requirements as follows:
- The artist or entertainer must be entering the United States through a government-recognized reciprocal exchange program.
- The US organization and the foreign organization have a mutual exchange program.
- The participants in the exchange program are of comparable caliber and will work in similar environments for similar durations of time.
- An appropriate labor organization is involved in negotiating the reciprocal exchange program.
Application Process: In order to qualify for a P-2 visa, your sponsoring labor organization must file an I-29 form on your behalf. If your employer is in the U.S., they can file an I-129 petition as well which will then be considered by one of seven regional offices abroad with jurisdiction over that country and region (as determined by where the applicant resides). Once approved, you can apply at any U.S Embassy or consulate but should set up a personal interview first instead – having incomplete applications could result in denial of acceptance into this Visa category!
Supporting Documents for P-2 Visa
To apply for P-2 Visa, you need to submit the following listed supporting document:
- An invitation from a qualified US employer or event sponsor
- Evidence that you can cover your living expenses while visiting the United States
- A copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the U.S. organization or organizations which sponsor the artists or entertainers
- A statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of U.S. artists or entertainers
- Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the United States was involved in negotiating
- Evidence that the foreign and U.S. artists being exchanged have equivalent skills and that their working conditions are similar.
- Evidence of funds available to cover expenses during travel time outside the US (traveler’s checks or credit cards)
- Evidence of health insurance coverage with U.S.-based company
To Know About P-1 Visa, Read This: P-1 Visa Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of An Entertainment Group
Duration of Stay and Extension of Stay
On a temporary P-2 visa, artists and entertainers may enter the United States for up to 1 year in order to complete their project, event, competition, or performance.
Extensions of stay of up to one year may be given to continue or complete the event, competition, or performance.
Pros and Cons of the P-2 visa
- A P-2 visa holder is permitted to engage in part-time study.
- The holder of a P-2 visa may apply for adjustment of status and attempt to become a legal permanent resident of the United States.
- P-4 status is available for the spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of the P-2 visa holders. Their dependents are not permitted to work, but they are permitted to attend school or college.
- Prior approval of a nonimmigrant petition by USCIS is necessary.
- Artists and entertainers entering the US through a government-recognized reciprocal exchange program.
- The spouse and children of P-2 visa holders are not permitted to work during their stay in the U.S.
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To be eligible for a P-2 Visa, an individual or group must perform as an artist or entertainer and have secured employment before entering the United States. Artists and Entertainers may include actors, musicians, dancers, acrobats, clowns, jugglers, and animal trainers.
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