9 FAM 402.14 

Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers – P Visas

(CT:VISA-1156;   09-16-2020)
(Office of Origin:  CA/VO)

9 FAM 402.14-1  Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

9 FAM 402.14-1(A)  Immigration and Nationality Act

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

INA 101(a)(15)(P) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(P)); INA 214(a)(2)(B) (8 U.S.C. 1184(a)(2)(B)); INA 214(c) (8 U.S.C. 1184(c)).

9 FAM 402.14-1(B)  Code of Federal Regulations

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

22 CFR 41.56.

9 FAM 402.14-2  Overview of P visas

(CT:VISA-433;   08-09-2017)

a. The P nonimmigrant visa (NIV) classification was created by the Immigration Act of 1990, Public Law 101-649 of November 29, 1990, specifically to provide for certain athletes, entertainers, and artists who are coming to perform in the United States.  Every P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien must be the beneficiary of a petition approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prior to visa issuance.

b. On April 18, 2017, the President signed the Executive Order on Buy American Hire American (E.O. 13788), intended to “create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests.”  The goal of E.O. 13788 is to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse, and it is with this spirit in mind that cases under INA 101(a)(15)(P) must be adjudicated.

9 FAM 402.14-3  CLassification SYMBOLS for P Visas

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

22 CFR 41.12 identifies the following P visa classification symbols for aliens of artists, entertainers, athletes, and essential support personnel in accordance with INA 101(a)(15)(P):


Internationally Recognized Athlete or Team, a Professional Athletes, Certain Amateur Athletes and Coaches, a Professional or Amateur Athlete Who Performs in a Theatrical Ice Skating Production, or a Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group


Artist or Entertainer in a Reciprocal Exchange Program


Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program


Spouse or Child of P1, P2, or P3

9 FAM 402.14-4  Definitions

(CT:VISA-1053;   04-21-2020)

The Department of Homeland Security uses the following definitions in adjudicating P petitions:

(1)  "Arts" includes fields of creative activity or endeavor such as, but not limited to, fine arts, visual arts, and performing arts;

(2)  "Competition, event, or performance" is an activity such as an athletic competition or season, tournament, tour, exhibit, project, or entertainment event or engagement.  Such activity may include short vacations, promotional appearances for the petitioning employer relating to the competition, event, or performance, and stopovers which are incidental and/or related to the activity.  An athletic competition or entertainment event may include an entire season of performances.  A group of related activities will also be considered an event.  In the case of a P-2 petition, the event may be the duration of the reciprocal exchange agreement.  In the case of a P-1 athlete, the event may be the duration of the alien's contract;

(3)  "Contract" means the written agreement between the petitioner and beneficiary(ies) that explains the terms and conditions of employment.  The contract must describe the services to be performed, and specify the wages, hours of work, working conditions, and any fringe benefits;

(4)  "Culturally unique" means a style of artistic expression, methodology, or medium which is unique to a particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other group of persons;

(5)  "Essential support alien" is a highly-skilled, essential person determined by the Director to be an integral part of the performance of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien because he or she performs support services which cannot be readily performed by a United States worker and which are essential to the successful performance of services by the P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien.  Such alien must have appropriate qualifications to perform the services, critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed, and experience in providing support to the P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien;

(6)  "Group" means two or more persons established as one entity or unit to perform or to provide a service;

(7)  "Internationally recognized" means having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that such achievement is renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country;

(8)  "Member of a group" means a person who is actually performing the entertainment services;

(9)  "Sponsor" means an established organization in the United States which will not directly employ a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien but will assume responsibility for the accuracy of the terms and conditions specified in the petition;

(10) "Team" means two or more persons organized to perform together as a competitive unit in a competitive event; and

(11) "Professional athlete" means an individual who is employed as an athlete by--(A) a team that is a member of an association of 6 or more professional sports teams whose total combined revenues exceed $10,000,000 per year, if the association governs the conduct of its members and regulates the contests and exhibitions in which its member teams regularly engage; or (B) any minor league team that is affiliated with such an association.

9 FAM 402.14-5  Types of P Nonimmigrants

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

Under INA 101(a)(15)(P), an alien may be authorized to come to the United States to perform certain services as an artist, athlete, or entertainer for an employer or sponsor.  The P classification is divided into four categories.

9 FAM 402.14-5(A)  P-1 Nonimmigrants: Athletes and Group Entertainers

(CT:VISA-1053;   04-21-2020)

The P-1 classification applies to the following aliens:

(1)  P-1A Petitions:  A P-1A petition is authorized in order for an alien to perform as an athlete, either individually or as part of a group or team at an “internationally recognized” level of performance (for the definition of “international recognition,” see 9 FAM 402.14-4 paragraph 7 above).  You should note that an athletic team can be as few as two people.  Additionally, the “international recognition” requirement may be waived by DHS in some cases:

(a)  A P-1A petition is authorized for an alien to perform as: a professional athlete as defined at 9 FAM 402.14-4 paragraph 11;

(b)  A P-1A petition is authorized for an athlete or coach, as part of a team or franchise that is located in the United States and a member of a foreign league or association of 15 or more amateur sports teams, if - the foreign league or association is the highest level of amateur performance of that sport in the relevant foreign country; participation in such league or association renders players ineligible, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, to earn a scholarship in, or participate in, that sport at a college or university in the United States under the rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association; and a significant number of the individuals who play in such league or association are drafted by a major sports league or a minor league affiliate of such a sports league; and

(c)  A P-1A petition is authorized for a professional or amateur athlete coming temporarily to the U.S. to perform in a specific theatrical ice skating production, individually or as part of a group.

(2)  P-1B Petitions:  A P-1B petition is authorized for an alien to be able to perform with, or serve as an integral and essential part of the performance of, an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as being outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.  Such alien ordinarily must have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group for at least one year, providing functions integral to the performance of the group.  The one-year relationship requirement only applies to 75 percent of the members of an entertainment group, does not apply to circus personnel, and may be waived by DHS in certain circumstances.  An entertainment group may have as few as two (2) people.  If an individual entertainer is performing separate and apart from the group, that entertainer should apply for an O-1 petition separately from the rest of the group.

9 FAM 402.14-5(B)  P-2 Nonimmigrants: Reciprocal Exchange Programs

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

The P-2 classification applies to artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, or their essential support personnel, who will be performing under a reciprocal exchange program which is between at least one organization in the United States (including management organizations) and at least one organization in one or more foreign states which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.  The exchange of artists and entertainers shall be similar in terms of caliber of artists and entertainers, and in terms and conditions of employment such as length of employment, and numbers of artists or entertainers involved in the exchange.  However, this requirement does not preclude an individual for group exchange.

9 FAM 402.14-5(C)  P-3 Nonimmigrants: Culturally Unique Programs

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

The P-3 Classification is for artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, or their essential support personnel, 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.  The alien must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event(s) that will further the understanding or development of the art form.  The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature, and does not have to be sponsored by an educational, cultural or government agency.   There is no requirement for P-3 aliens that the group have existed before their trip to the United States.

9 FAM 402.14-5(D)  P-4 Nonimmigrants: Spouse and Children

(CT:VISA-1053;   04-21-2020)

The P-4 classification applies to the spouse and children who are accompanying or following to join an alien classified P-1, P-2, or P-3 (see 9 FAM 402.14-12 below).

9 FAM 402.14-6  DHS Petition adjudications

9 FAM 402.14-6(A)  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Responsible for Adjudicating P Petitions

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. Every P-1, P-2, and P-3 alien must be the beneficiary of a petition, approved by DHS, prior to visa issuance or, in the case of visa-exempt aliens, admission into the United States.  By mandating a preliminary petition, Congress placed responsibility and authority with DHS to determine whether the requirements for P status which are examined in the petition process have been met.

b. Posts generally should not request that the Department provide status reports on petitions filed with DHS, nor should they contact DHS directly for such reports.  As an alternative, posts may suggest that the applicant communicate with his or her sponsor.  Cases of public relations significance may be submitted to the Department by emailing your post liaison in CA/VO/F.

9 FAM 402.14-6(B)  Consultation Requirement

(CT:VISA-267;   12-12-2016)

As part of the DHS petition approval process, consultation with an appropriate labor organization having expertise in the specific field involved is required before a petition for a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien can be approved.  This consultation shall be in the form of a written advisory opinion regarding the nature of the work to be done and the alien's qualifications.  The advisory opinion from the union is usually obtained by the petitioner and filed with the I-129 visa petition, although DHS may obtain or waive it under certain circumstances.  Consultations are advisory in nature and are not binding on DHS.

9 FAM 402.14-6(C)  Effect of Labor Disputes

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. DHS will deny a P petition in the event that the Secretary of Labor certifies that a strike or labor dispute involving a work stoppage is in progress in the occupation at the place the alien will be employed, and the alien's employment would adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers.  If the petition has already been approved, but the alien has not yet entered the United States or commenced employment, the approval of the petition is automatically suspended and application for admission shall be denied.

b. Should a consular office receive notification from DHS, the Department, or another official source that a previously approved petition has been suspended because of a strike or other labor dispute, it shall defer visa issuance and follow whatever instructions are given regarding the disposition of the suspended petition.  If a post has any question regarding the validity of a particular petition, it should query the approving DHS office directly.

9 FAM 402.14-7  Petition Procedures

9 FAM 402.14-7(A)  Using Form I-129, Petition for  a Nonimmigrant Worker, to File Petition

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. A U.S. petitioner uses Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to classify a beneficiary as a P nonimmigrant.  Essential support personnel may not be included on the petition filed for the principal alien, team, or group; rather, these aliens require a separate petition.

b. Form I-129 must be filed only with the DHS Service Center having jurisdiction.  The petition may not be filed more than one year before the actual need for the alien's services.  Form I-129 is also used to request extensions of petition validity and extensions of stay in P status.  (See 9 FAM 402.14-9 below.)

9 FAM 402.14-7(B)  Services in More Than One Location

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

A petition which requires the alien to work in more than one location (i.e., a tour) must include an itinerary with the dates and locations of the employment, and must be filed with the petition to the DHS Service Center that has jurisdiction in the area where the petitioner is located.

9 FAM 402.14-7(C)  Services for More Than One Employer

(CT:VISA-1053;   04-21-2020)

If the beneficiary will work concurrently for more than one employer within the same time period, each employer must file a separate petition with its jurisdictional DHS Service Center, or one petitioner can petition for the entire itinerary as an agent authorized by the other employers to file the petition as an agent.  If the P alien is self-employed or there is a foreign employer, there must be a U.S. agent who acts as the petitioner (See 9 FAM 402.14-7(F) below).  If an agent is the petitioner, he or she generally must have an itinerary and the contract when filing the petition.

9 FAM 402.14-7(D)  Change of Employer

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

If a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien in the United States seeks to change employers, the new employer must file a petition and a request to extend the alien's stay in the United States with DHS.  The alien generally may not commence employment with the new employer or sponsor until the petition and request for extension of stay have been approved.

9 FAM 402.13-6(E)  Amended Petition

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

A petitioner must file an amended petition on Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with fee, with the DHS Service Center where the original petition was filed to reflect any material changes in the terms and conditions of employment or the beneficiary’s eligibility as specified in the original approved petition.  A petitioner may add additional, similar or comparable performances, engagements or competitions during the validity period of the petition without filing an amended petition.

9 FAM 402.14-7(F)  Agents as Petitioners

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

A U.S. agent may file a P petition for an alien who is traditionally self-employed or who uses agents to arrange short-term employment on his or her behalf with numerous employers.  An agent may also file a petition on behalf of a foreign employer.

9 FAM 402.14-7(G)  Beneficiaries

(CT:VISA-1053;   04-21-2020)

a. Named Beneficiaries: Petitions for P classification must include the name(s) of the beneficiary(ies) and other required information at the time of filing.

b. Multiple Beneficiaries:  More than one beneficiary may be included on a P petition if they are members of a group seeking classification based on the reputation of the group as an entity, or if they will provide essential support to P-1, P-2, or P-3 beneficiaries performing in the same location and in the same occupation.

c.  Substituting Beneficiaries:  Beneficiaries may be substituted on P-1, P-2, and P-3 petitions for groups (except essential support personnel).  All groups qualified for P status may benefit from the substitution procedures.  The petitioner must submit a letter requesting the substitution, along with a copy of the petitioner's approval notice Form I-797, Notice of Action, to the consular office where the alien will apply for a visa or the POE where the visa-exempt alien will apply for admission.  The petitioner must state the alien's date of birth, country of nationality, and position, and must certify that the alien is qualified to fill the position described in the approved petition (See 9 FAM 402.14-10(C) below regarding responsibility for adjudicating visa applications for team and group members).

d. When Substitutions Are Not Permitted: If a beneficiary of a petition has already been issued a visa and has been admitted to the United States on that visa, a substitution may not be made.  If a visa was issued but the visa holder has not yet traveled, or was denied admission at the Port of Entry, you may cancel the visa and substitute a new group member with proper written notification as described in paragraph c above.  Additionally, essential support personnel cannot be substituted.  In order to add different essential support personnel to an existing P visa petition, a new Form I-129 must be filed at the appropriate DHS service center.

9 FAM 402.14-7(H)  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Notification to Petitioner of Petition Approval

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

DHS uses Form I-797, Notice of Action, to notify the petitioner that the P petition filed by the petitioner has been approved or that the extension of stay in P status for the beneficiary has been granted.  The approval notice should include the alien beneficiary's name and classification and the petition's period of validity.  The petitioner may furnish Form I-797 to the beneficiary for the purpose of making a visa appointment, or to facilitate the beneficiary's entry into the United States, either initially or after a temporary absence abroad during the beneficiary's stay in P status.

9 FAM 402.14-7(I)  Transmission of Approved Petition to Post Via the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC)

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sends all approved NIV petitions to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) for transmittal to post.  The KCC scans the petition and supporting documents into the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS), which posts can access through the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD).  PIMS allows all information on a petitioner, petition, and/or beneficiary to be linked through a centrally managed CCD service.  As a result of this change, the KCC has ceased emailing scanned copies of approved NIV petitions to posts.  For additional information on accessing the petition data, see 9 FAM 402.14-10(B) below.

9 FAM 402.14-8  Validity of P Petitions

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. The periods of validity for approved P petitions are as follows:

(1)  P-1 individual athlete - up to five years;

(2)  P-1 athletic team - period of time to be determined by DHS to be necessary to complete the competition or event, not to exceed one year;

(3)  P-1 entertainment group - period of time necessary to complete the performance or event, not to exceed one year;

(4)  P-2 or P-3 artist or entertainer - period of time necessary to complete the event or performance, not to exceed one year;

(5)  Essential support personnel to P-1, P-2, and P-3 aliens - period of time to complete the event, activity, or performance for which the P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien is admitted, not to exceed one year upon initial approval; however, petition validity may be extended for up to five years for essential support personnel of P-1 individual athletes; and

(6)  P-4 spouse and unmarried minor children are subject to the same period of admission and time limitations as the alien beneficiary.  They must be either accompanying or following-to-join the P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien.

b. Petition Extension:  The petitioner should file a request to extend the validity of a P petition on Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, in order to continue or complete the same activity or event specified in the original petition.  Supporting evidence is not required unless requested by DHS.  A petition extension may be filed only if the validity of the original petition has not expired.

9 FAM 402.14-9  LENGTH of Stay

(CT:VISA-911;   08-05-2019)

a. Initial Stay:  A P nonimmigrant may be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus up to ten days before the validity period begins and ten days after it ends.  The alien may not work except during the validity period of the petition.  The length of stay is generally tied to the period of validity of the petition by DHS (See 9 FAM 402.14-10(G) below for a discussion of how to annotate P visas.).

b. Extension of Stay:  The petitioner must request the extension of an alien's stay in the United States to continue or complete the same event or activity by filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, accompanied by a statement explaining the reasons for the extension.  The extension dates must be the same for the petition and the beneficiary's stay.  The beneficiary must be physically present in the United States at the time the extension petition is filed.  If the alien is required to leave the United States for business or personal reasons while the extension requests are pending, the petitioner may ask DHS to cable notification of the petition extension to the consular office abroad where the alien will apply for a visa.

(1)  P-1 Individual Athletes:  An extension of stay for a P-1 individual athlete and his or her essential support personnel may be authorized for a period of up to five years for a total period of stay not to exceed ten years.

(2)  Other P-1 Aliens,  P-2 and P-3 Nonimmigrants:  An extension of stay may be authorized in increments of one year for P-1 athletic teams and entertainment groups, P-2 aliens in reciprocal exchange programs, P-3 aliens in culturally unique programs, and their essential support personnel to continue or complete the same event or activity for which they were admitted.

9 FAM 402.14-10  Issuing P Visas

9 FAM 402.14-10(A)  Effect of an Approved Petition on Visa Adjudication

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. An approved petition is considered prima facie evidence that the requirements for visa classification, which are examined by a USCIS adjudicator during the petition process, have been met.  However, the approval of a petition by USCIS does not relieve the alien of the burden of establishing visa eligibility.  While the majority of petitions are valid, you should confirm that the facts in the petition are true during the visa interview.  Remember that USCIS interacts solely with the petitioner; the interview is the first point during the petition-based visa process where a USG representative has the opportunity to interact with the beneficiary of the petition.  Additionally, consular officers overseas benefit from cultural and local knowledge that adjudicators at USCIS do not possess, making it easier to spot exaggerations or misrepresentation in qualifications.

b. You must suspend action on an alien’s application and submit a report to the approving DHS office if you know or have reason to believe that an alien applying for a visa under INA 101(a)(15)(P) is not entitled to the classification as approved.  For more information on refusing P visas see 9 FAM 601.13.

9 FAM 402.14-10(B)  Verifying Petition Approval

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. PIMS or the Person Centric Query Service (PCQS) are the sources of confirmation for you that a petition for a visa has been approved.  Posts may use approved Form I-129 and Form I-797 presented at post as sufficient proof to schedule an appointment, or may schedule an appointment based on the applicant’s confirmation that the petition has been approved, but only PIMS or PCQS is sufficient evidence for visa adjudication.

b. The PIMS Petition Report is listed in the CCD under a sub-category of the NIV menu called “NIV Petitions.”  The PIMS Petition Report contains a record of all petitioners recorded by the KCC as having approved petitions since 2004.  In addition, the KCC FPU has provided informational memos on a large percentage of these petitioners.  Each new, approved petition is linked to a base petitioner record, allowing superior tracking of NIV petitioner and petition information. 

c. If PIMS does not contain the petition approval, before sending an email to KCC, post has the option to look for petition approval in PCQS in the CCD under the Cross Applications tab.  In PCQS, under Search Criteria, select Receipt Number; then enter the number from the Form I-797; e.g., EAC1234567890.  First, search CISCOR to find the petition, but if not found in CISCOR, you should also check CLAIMS 3.  If post finds a petition approval in PCQS that was not in PIMS, the post should send an email to PIMS@state.gov as follows:  Petition with Receipt Number EAC1234567890 was found in PCQS but not in PIMS.  You may not authorize a petition-based NIV without verification of petition approval either through PIMS or PCQS.

d. If you are unable to immediately locate information on a specific petition either through PIMS or PCQS, you must send an email to PIMS@state.gov.  KCC’s FPU will research approval of the petition and, if able to confirm its approval, will make the details available through the CCD within 2 working days.  You may submit your request to KCC only within five (5) working days of the scheduled interview date and you must have checked PIMS before submitting a request to KCC.  KCC will check the USCIS CLAIMS database, and will upload the CLAIMS report into PIMS so that you can proceed with the scheduled interview.  KCC will not process PIMS requests submitted by post prior to the five day window.  Please be sure to conduct a PIMS query before sending in these special requests, in order to reduce KCC’s workload. 

9 FAM 402.14-10(C)  Determining Qualifications of Team or Group Members

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. In adjudicating P petitions for athletic teams and entertainment groups, DHS evaluates whether the team or group as an entity meets the requirements of INA 101(a)(15)(P).  Members of a team or group derive their status from their relationship with the team or group.  DHS does not examine the individual qualifications of team or group members, other than verifying that 75 percent of the members of an entertainment group other than circus personnel have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the organization for at least one year.  It is your responsibility to determine whether the team or group member applying for a P visa is qualified to fill the position described in the approved petition and is otherwise eligible for the visa.

b. As a matter of policy, consular officers should refrain in most situations from requesting applicants to perform as a method to verify qualifications.  A request for performance is warranted only in rare cases, as part of an anti-fraud investigation.

9 FAM 402.14-10(D)  Validity of P Visas

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. The validity of a P visa may not exceed the period of validity of a petition approved to accord P status.  If the period of reciprocity shown in the reciprocity schedules is less than the validity period of the approved petition or extension of stay, reciprocity shall prevail.

b. Posts are authorized to accept and issue visas to qualified applicants up to 90 days in advance of applicants’ beginning of status as noted on the Form I-797.  Post must inform applicants verbally and in writing that they can only use the visa to apply for reentry to the United States starting ten days prior to the beginning of the approved status period noted on their Form I-797.  In addition, such visas must be annotated, “Not valid until (ten days prior to the petition validity date).”

9 FAM 402.14-10(E)  Issuing a Single P Visa Based on More Than One Petition

(CT:VISA-911;   08-05-2019)

If the alien is the beneficiary of two or more P petitions and does not plan to depart from the United States between engagements, you may issue a single P visa valid until the expiration date of the last expiring petition, reciprocity permitting.  The required annotation from all petitions shall be placed on the visa (see 9 FAM 402.14-10(G) below).

9 FAM 402.14-10(F)  Limiting P Visas

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

You may restrict visa validity in some cases to less than the period of validity of the approved petition or authorized period of stay (for example, on the basis of reciprocity or the terms of an order waiving a ground of ineligibility). In any such case, in addition to the notations described in 9 FAM 402.14-10(G) below, posts must insert the following:


9 FAM 402.14-10(G)  Annotating P Visas

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

Posts must enter the number of the alien's approved petition (or the number of the principal alien's petition in the case of P-4 dependents) immediately below the lower margin of the visa, followed by the name and location of the alien's or principal alien's employer, if applicable.  Posts should follow appropriate operating instructions for annotating visas.  NOTE: that not all P nonimmigrants have an employer.

9 FAM 402.14-10(H)  Reissuing P Visas

(CT:VISA-358;   04-26-2017)

When a P visa is limited by reciprocity to a period of validity less than the validity of the petition or authorized period of stay, you may reissue the visa any number of times within the period allowable using the same still-valid petition.  If an application or reciprocity fee is prescribed by the reciprocity schedule, posts must collect the fee for each reissuance of the P visa.


9 FAM 402.14-11(A)  Applying 214(b)

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. 214(b) Applies:  A P visa applicant is presumed to be an immigrant until he or she establishes to your satisfaction that he or she is entitled to P nonimmigrant status, and the standards for applying 214(b) described in 9 FAM 302.1-2(B)(3) apply to P applicants. 

b. Residence Abroad:  INA 101(a)(15)(P) imposes a residence abroad requirement.  Consequently, every P visa applicant must satisfy you that he or she has a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of abandoning.

c.  Dual Intent:  DHS has determined that the approval of a permanent labor certification or the filing of an immigrant visa petition for an alien is not a basis for denying a P petition, or for DHS to deny a request to extend such a petition, or the alien's application for admission, change of status, or extension of stay.  The alien may legitimately come to the United States for a temporary period as a P nonimmigrant and depart voluntarily at the end of his or her authorized stay and, at the same time, lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the United States.  However, this “dual intent” provision does not apply to essential support personnel.

d. Referring Approved P Petition to USCIS for Reconsideration:  For guidance on sending a petition to USCIS for reconsidering, please refer to 9 FAM 601.13.

9 FAM 402.14-12  Spouse and Children of P-1, P-2, or P-3 Aliens

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

a. The spouse and children of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien, who are accompanying or following to join him or her in the United States, are eligible for P-4 classification and are subject to the same visa validity, period of admission, and limitations as the P-1, P-2, or P-3 principal alien.  For a general discussion of the classification of the spouse and children of a nonimmigrant, see 9 FAM 402.1-4 and 9 FAM 402.1-5.

b. Verifying Principal Alien is Maintaining Status:  When an alien applies for a P-4 visa to follow to join a principal alien already in the United States, you must be satisfied that the principal alien is maintaining P status before issuing the visa.  If there are no other readily available means of verification, you may suggest to the applicant that the principal alien in the United States submit a copy of his or her Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record (if the principal alien received a paper I-94, copies of both sides must be submitted) and a copy of his or her current visa for presentation to you.  You may also wish to check ADIS for arrival and departure information.

c.  Employment Prohibited:  Aliens in P-4 status are generally not authorized to accept employment.  The spouse and children of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 principal alien may not accept employment unless they qualify independently for a classification in which employment is, or can be, authorized or unless that employment is authorized by DHS.  You shall take this into account in evaluating whether family members have furnished adequate evidence of their support while in the United States.

9 FAM 402.14-13  Return Transportation When Employment Involuntarily Terminated

(CT:VISA-743;   02-13-2019)

If a P nonimmigrant's employment terminates for reasons other than voluntary resignation, the employer and petitioner who sought the alien's P status are responsible for providing the reasonable cost of the alien's transportation to his or her last place of residence prior to entry into the United States.