In short, an O-visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the areas of sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, film, or television, who can prove national or international acclaim or receipt of internationally recognized awards. A P-visa is for athletes, entertainers and entertainment groups, as well as culturally unique artists. For athletes, the level of skill is substantially above the ordinary ability for athletes, including distinguished abilities, and for entertainers they must be internationally-recognized.
These two visas are often confused with one another, as these are both non-immigrant visas for artists and performers to come to the United States. A San Francisco O-visa lawyer can help determine which is best for your needs.
The advantages of a P-visa include:
- The eligibility standards are lower for a P-visa than an O-visa;
- For a P-visa, there is a need to demonstrate international recognition on one occasion;
- Individuals and groups can be admitted under a P-visa, while only individuals may enter under an O-visa;
- A non-immigrant can perform in a reciprocal exchange program between a U.S. organization and a foreign program that allows for the exchange of artists and entertainers.
The following are advantages of an O-visa:
- An O-visa includes workers in a broad range of fields, while a P-visa is limited to certain artists, athletes, and entertainers;
- With an O-visa, workers do not have to maintain a residence in another country; however, under a P-visa, a worker entering the United States temporarily must have a residence abroad with an intent to return;
- An O-visa worker can remain in the U.S. longer than a P-visa worker;
- Dual intent is possible, in which a person can work in the United States under an O-visa with the intent of obtaining a green card;
- A spouse or child of an O-visa holder can enter the country to accompany or join the principal.