Artists coming to the United States to perform or compete in a cultural event may apply for a P-3 visa. These non-immigrant visas are only valid for up to one year, and are meant to provide foreigners with U.S. residence only for the length of time needed to complete your cultural program.
In order to apply for this visa, your U.S. employer or sponsoring organization must complete and submit Form I-129 (Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker) to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services on your behalf. If you are part of a team or group, the organization must submit a separate form for each member.
After your visa has been approved, you will need to carry the following official documents while traveling in the U.S.:
- A valid P-3 visa
- A valid passport
- Your form I-797 USCIS petition approval notice
- A copy of your approved Form I-129S (if applicable)
You will need to present these documents to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) every time you enter the United States.
It is important to remember that there are strict rules surrounding the P-3 visa. In order to qualify, you and your group must be actively representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional presentation, such as an ethnic or artistic performance. While the program may be either commercial or non-commercial, the cultural event must be of a nature that will further the understanding or development of your art form.