The, O-1 visa for “Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement” and the P visa for athletes and entertainers are non-immigrant visas granted to individuals who have “special abilities” and their dependents and attendants. Although vague, those appellations have been precisely defined by immigration laws and courts, and the criteria must be closely demonstrated in order to obtain the coveted visa.

A. O-1 visa for “Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement”

The Extraordinary Ability or Achievement is defined as “a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor” in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (O-1A visas), or the arts or in motion picture or television industry (O-1B visas)

The attendants (or support personnel) can be admitted under O-2 visas upon demonstrating that the O-1 visa holder needs them to accomplish his or her mission.

Along with the application package, the U.S. petitioner will have to submit a written consultation from a labor organization specialized in the considered field, evidencing that the individual is a recognized expert in this field.

B. P visas for athletes and entertainers

1. P-1A visa for Internationally Recognized Athletesimmigration florida orlando visa O P lawyer

The P-1A visa is granted to individuals or teams who are seeking to enter the U.S. in order to take part in a specific athletic competition at an internationally recognized level of performance.

Along with the application package, the U.S. petitioner will have to submit a written consultation from a labor organization specialized in the considered field, evidencing that the individual is a recognized athlete in this field.

2. P-1B visa for Members of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

The P-1B visa is granted to a team that has been “recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a substantial and sustained period of time”, and is seeking to enter the U.S. in order to perform.

Immigration services consider the team as a group under this definition if at least 75% of its members have had “had a substantial and sustained relationship” with the group for at least one year.

Along with the application package, the U.S. Petitioner will have to submit a written consultation from a labor organization specialized in the considered field, a list of the foreseen dates and place of representation, and evidencing that the team is internationally recognized.

3. P-2 visa for Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program

The P-2 visa in granted to individuals or teams seeking to enter the U.S. in order to perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and one of a foreign country. In addition, the individual or team must possess skills comparable to those of the United States artists and entertainers taking part in the program outside the United States.

Along with the application package, the U.S. petitioner will have to submit a written consultation from a labor organization specialized in the considered field, and provide evidence of the existence of exchange program as well as one’s qualification to meet its requirements.

4. P-3 visa for Artists or Entertainers coming to be Part of a Culturally Unique Program

The P-3 visa is granted to individuals or groups seeking to enter the U.S. in order to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers under a program that is culturally unique.

The “culturally unique” criteria extends to “traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation”, and the individual must be coming to the U.S. to participate to cultural event(s) that will further the understanding of the artist’s art form.

Along with the application package, the U.S. Petitioner will have to submit a written consultation from a labor organization specialized in the considered field, and provide description of the event(s) and evidences of the artist’s recognition.