What is a P3 Visa?

July 3, 2019

Philadelphia visa petition lawyers help clients file and process visas.A P3 visa is available for immigrant artists and entertainers entering the United States to participate or perform in a culturally unique program. This visa applies to individuals who wish to enter the United States temporarily to perform, teach, or work for a group of artists or entertainers. The program’s aim should be in furtherance of understanding and developing a unique art form in the U.S. The program can be of either commercial or noncommercial purpose.


In order to apply for the P3 visa, a U.S. organization or agent must file a Form I-129 with the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form must be accompanied by supporting documents, including evidence of the applicant’s skills and experience. The application must also include an affidavit confirming the existence of the culturally unique program and explanation of the event and itinerary. A contract should be brought between the applicant and the U.S. organization regarding events, schedules, performance dates, and duration of stay.

Peer Group Approval

The applicant must also prove that there are no objections from any union or peer group regarding the entry of the applicant into the U.S. The U.S. employer sponsoring the artist needs to obtain an advisory opinion from an appropriate agency, peer group, or labor organization to state that there is no appropriate culturally unique organization that exists. If the position is subject to a union contract, the employer needs to obtain approval from the union stating that the sponsorship of the artist will not adversely affect the wages, working conditions, or the U.S. workers, and that it does not object to the employment of the artist.

All supporting performers also need to establish that they play an integral role in the performance and that there is no U.S. performer who is readily available to perform the piece.


Spouses and unmarried children of the performers can obtain P4 status, however, these dependents are not allowed to gain employment or attend school or college while on their stay in the U.S. However, the applicant may stay part-time during their stay in the U.S.

Duration of Stay and Extension

With the P3 visa, the applicant cannot stay in the U.S. for more than one year. However, the applicant can apply for a visa extension. The visa may be extended in increments of one year for which the original visa was granted. An applicant can opt for a faster processing time through premium processing. The applicant will have to tender an additional fee for which the USCIS will respond with an approval, denial, further notice of evidence, or investigation within 15 calendar days or refund the fee and continue processing the petition.

After Filing

After filing for the visa, the USCIS may approve the application, request further evidence, or deny or provide a notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If the application is approved, the USCIS will send a Notice of Action Form I-797 to the sponsoring employer. If the applicant is already in the U.S., they may start working for the employer as soon as the approval notice is received.

After the application is approved, the USCIS notifies the U.S. Consulate closest to the applicant. The applicant must take the approved Notice of Action Form I-797 to the consulate to obtain the P-3 visa.

Philadelphia Visa Petition Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Help Clients File and Process Visas

If you have concerns about the visa process, the experienced Philadelphia visa petition lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC can help. We will ensure that everything is filed correctly and that you are filing for the correct visa. Call us today at 215-496-0690 or complete an online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.