What Is a P-2 Visa?

With a plethora of different visa options available, it can be difficult for foreign entrants to the United States to understand which one they need. Above others, as an artist or entertainer, you may be unaware you need a specialist P-2 visa to cover your entry into the country. What is a P-2 visa and more importantly, how can it help you?

The P-2 Visa Explained

A P-2 visa is a temporary work visa for artists and entertainers who wish to become involved in government exchange programs within the U.S. These exchange programs must be reciprocal and approved by the United States government.

P-2 Visa Requirements

In order to qualify for a P-2 work visa, you first need be an artist or entertainer. This includes individual and group artists, who have accepted or been invited to participate in a reciprocal exchange program.

Artists coming from a foreign country of origin need to possess skills comparable to those of American artists and entertainers they’re exchanging with. In addition to this, you’re required to have a US employer or agent who can sponsor the participation in the exchange program.

It’s also quite common for applicants to pass certain health and character requirements before being allowed entry to the United States on a P-2 work visa.

Evidence will need to be submitted to prove that you have comparable skills to the Americans in the exchange, as well as a copy of the exchange agreement and appropriate labor organization evidence.

Entitlements of the P-2 Visa

P-2 work visas entitle you as the holder to participate in exchange programs within the United States. These visas are variable in duration, and tend to last only as long as the duration of the program.  Extensions may be granted, but you’ll need to provide evidence that this is a necessary lengthening of your stay within the US.

As an artist or entertainer working on a P-2 work visa, you can have dual intent, meaning you can apply for a Green Card to gain permanent residency.

Additionally, you are eligible to bring ‘essential support personnel’ with you. These support personnel must also apply for a P-2 visa, and must also demonstrate that their skills and experience are essential to the performance of the primary applicant.

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to apply for a visa to join their spouse or parent on their trip to the United States. This visa is coded as a P-4 visa, which entitles the individual to study within the US. The P-4 visa does not entitle the spouse or child to work without first obtaining the appropriate work visa.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding A P-2 Visa, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.