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What are the “artists’ visas”?

July 26, 2023
  • Business Immigration

A common question that comes up among immigrants is “what are the artists visas?” 

Most people believe that this is one visa. However, there are a variety of visas that fall within this category. These visas are nicknamed “artists visas” because most artistic individuals and professionals may qualify for these visas. These visas include the following: 

  1. The O Visa 
  1. The P Visa 
  1. The EB-1A Visa 

What is the O Visa? 

The O Visa is a non-immigrant visa category allowing individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics to come to the United States temporarily to work. The visa is intended for those with exceptional talent in their field, who have received national or international acclaim, and who have demonstrated sustained achievement.  

Applicants must have significant accomplishments in the field and prove that their work would be beneficial for the United States.  

The O Visa can be granted for up to three years and can be extended in one-year increments for as long as the individual is working in their field. Spouses and children of O Visa holders are usually eligible for O-3 visas. 

What is the P Visa? 

The P Visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa category, which is specifically designed to allow athletes, entertainers, and artists to come to the United States to perform in events, competitions, or cultural exchange programs. There are three sub-categories within the P visa category: 

  1. P-1 Visa: This type of visa is for individual or team athletes, entertainers, and artists who have achieved national or international recognition, or who are part of a group that has achieved such recognition and are coming to the United States to perform or compete.
  2. P-2 Visa: This type of visa is for entertainers and artists who are coming to the United States as part of a reciprocal exchange program between U.S. organizations and foreign organizations. The P-2 applies to those coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.
  3. P-3 Visa: This type of visa is for artists, entertainers, or coaches who are coming to the United States to participate in a culturally unique program or event. The program must be focused on a traditional, ethnic, cultural, or artistic performance that is presented in a traditional format or setting.


What is the EB-1A Visa? 

The EB-1A visa is a category of employment-based permanent residency in the United States, which is reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. This visa category is also known as the Green Card for individuals with extraordinary abilities. Unlike other employment-based permanent residency categories, the EB-1A visa does not require a job offer or labor certification. 

To be eligible for the EB-1A visa, an applicant must prove that they have extraordinary ability in their field through sustained national or international acclaim. They must provide evidence of their achievements, such as major awards, published research, inventions, patents, or high-profile media coverage.  

If approved, the EB-1A visa holder and their immediate family members can obtain permanent residency status in the United States. The visa is valid for ten years but can be renewed indefinitely if the individual maintains their extraordinary ability and continues to work in their field.