Types and Features of P Visas

Types and Features of P Visas

There are several kinds of short term work visas available in the United States, and one such option for athletes, teams and entertainers is the P visa. These groups and their essential support personnel can be granted visas with a job offer from a U.S. employer, and at Buhler Thomas Law, P.C., we’re here to help with these processes.

What are the types and features of the P visa? Let’s take a look.


There are four designations of P visa:

  • P-1: For internationally recognized athletes or entertainers traveling to the United States to compete, and/or their essential support personnel. Entertainers must be part of a performance that has received international recognition as “outstanding” for a “substantial period of time,” and athletes must be recognized internationally as either an individual or part of a team.
  • P-2: For artists and entertainers who seek to be admitted through a reciprocal exchange program between a foreign entity and a U.S.-based organization.
  • P-3: For culturally unique programs – an artist or entertainer who is traveling to the U.S. to perform, teach or coach under a culturally unique program.
  • P-4: For spouses of children under the age of 21 to travel with or follow-to-join the principal alien.


Features of P visas, both positive and negative, include:

  • There is no annual limit to the number of people who can receive P visas.
  • P visas can be issued relatively quickly.
  • The P visa holder can work in the U.S. for the visa sponsor – but if they want to change jobs, they will have to obtain a new visa.
  • P visas will be granted for the length of time needed to complete a particular event or tour, for a maximum of up to one year. For athletes, admission can be for up to five years, with an extension for five years. Additional allowances can be made for vacation, promotional appearances and stopovers.
  • P visa holders may travel in and out of the U.S. freely, or remain in the U.S. for the entire period of the visa.
  • Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 may receive P-4 visas to accompany the main holder, but may not accept employment in the U.S..

Want to learn more about P visas, or any area our immigration attorneys can assist you in? Contact the offices of Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. today.