P-3: Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program

The P-3 classification is designated for individual or group artists and/or entertainers who wish to come to the United States for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. While these programs may be either commercial or non-commercial in nature, they must serve to further the understanding or development of the alien’s art form.

Additionally, aliens who qualify as essential support personnel may be accorded P-3 classification to accompany the artist or entertainer. Please see the P visa home page for more information on essential support personnel qualifications.

P-3 Application Process

Similar to other P-Visa petitions, the P-3 beneficiary’s sponsoring labor organization or U.S. employer must file a Form I-129 (Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker) with the appropriate USCIS service center (USCIS Vermont Service Center 4 Lemnah Drive St. Albans, VT 05479-0001, USCIS Vermont Service Center 75 Lower Welden Street St. Albans, VT 05479-0001, or USCIS California Service Center P.O. Box 10825 Laguna Niguel, CA 92607),, along with the $325 application fee and required supporting documentation:

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization describing the work or services to be performed in the U.S. and the alien’s qualifications for such work. However, if not appropriate labor organization exists, then this requirement will be excused;
  • A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or the summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the petitioner and the beneficiary;
  • An explanation of the event and itinerary;
  • Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of the alien or the group’s skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert, including the basis of his or her knowledge of the alien or the alien’s group’s skills; OR documentation that the alien or group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials; and
  • Documentation that illustrate that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events.

Additionally, if the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary listing the dates and locations of the events must be submitted.

Once the I-129 petition has been approved, the alien may then apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for a P-3 visa, which will allow them to request admission into the United States at a port of entry. Once they have been admitted they will be in valid P-3 status.

The initial period of stay granted to a P-3 nonimmigrant is the time needed to complete the event, activity or performance in the United States, which is not to exceed one year. Extensions of stay may be granted in increments of up to one year in order to continue or complete the event, activity or performance.

Family members (spouses and minor children) of P-3 nonimmigrants are eligible to apply for P-4 status and accompany the P-3 holder to the United States. P-4 holders, however, are not permitted to legally work while in the United States, but may attend school or college.

For more information on P visa, please refer to the following links: