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(Artists or Entertainers)
The P-2 visa classification is designated for artists or entertainers, either an individual or group, who wish to enter into the U.S. temporarily as part of a reciprocal exchange program. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: an organization in the United States, and one abroad that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.
Requirements for the P-2 Visa
It must be proven that:
- An exchange program exists between the U.S. organization and the foreign organization.
- The people involved in the exchange program are of equal caliber, and will be employed in similar conditions for similar periods of time.
- A person must be highly experienced and possess skills comparable to those of U.S. entertainers or artists in the reciprocal program.
Advantages of a P-2 Visa
- There are no travel restrictions on a P-2 visa.
- A P-2 visa holder is permitted to engage in part time study.
- The dependents of P-2 visa holders are allowed to engage in full time study.
- The P-2 visa holder may apply for adjustment of status and lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the U.S.
How Long are P-2 Visas Issued for
A P-2 visa for artists or entertainers is valid for a time period required to complete the event, activity, or performance, but it should not exceed one year.
Essential Support Personnel
Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-2 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-2 classification. Support personnel may include stagehands, trainers, or those persons having critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed.
The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:
- Consultation from an appropriate labor organization
- Statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-2 artist or entertainer
- Copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.
Change of Employer
You may change employers after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.
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