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What you should know about the P-3 visa

In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of securing the appropriate visa if you are an entertainer or artist from another country coming to the U.S. for a performance, event or other career-related opportunity. In that post, which can be read here, we also discussed the fact that challenges can and do arise that jeopardize a person's reputation or career if they are unable to enter the United States.

In this post, we will examine more closely some of the challenges of securing a P-3 visa, which is required of artists or entertainers.

To begin with, P-3 visas are intended only for people who are coming to the U.S. specifically to develop skills, perform, represent or teach in association with their art form. This means that if you are from another country and want to come to the U.S. solely for a vacation or to see family, you may not be eligible for a P-3 visa.

If eligibility criteria are met, an agent, your employer in the U.S. or the organization sponsoring you will need to submit a petition for non-immigrant workers.

This application will need to be supported by a clear description of the purpose of your trip, as well as an itinerary. P-3 visas are only valid for the length of time you will be attending or completing career-related functions and they expire after one year.

Further, many entertainers and artists have support staff that accompany them on trips. In order to come to the U.S., however, staff members deemed essential must also receive a P-3 visa and a petition establishing the person's function and employment agreement must be filed.

At virtually any stage in this process, it is possible for challenges to arise that result in a delayed or denied visa.

Considering all that is at stake, professionally and otherwise, it can be crucial that you and/or your U.S. employer take the appropriate steps and precautions when applying for a P-3 visa. In order to avoid the costly delays and denials that can stem from mishandled or missing paperwork, it can be wise to discuss the process and your legal options with an attorney.

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