Artists and athletes are an essential portion of healthy cultural exchange. The global community benefits greatly from the work of each country’s greatest thinkers and performers. P-2 Visas are issued to troupes or bands entering the U.S. as a part of an exchange program. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: one in the US and one abroad. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are permitted to accompany you to the United States, under a P-4 status. P-4 visa holders are not allowed to work without being granted permission.
Either the U.S. labor group that negotiated the exchange agreement, the sponsoring organization or the U.S. employer must file the petition. The petition should be filed to the U.S Consular office or U.S. Embassy, or to the branch of the USCIS with jurisdiction over the location where the troupe/band plans to perform. The application forms and relevant documents may be mailed or submitted in person.
A U.S. agent may also file a petition for workers who are self-employed, use agents to book short-term engagements with many different employers or in situations where foreign employer(s) authorize the use of an agent to act on their behalf. This agent may be the employer of the performer, a representative of the employer or a person authorized to act on behalf of the employer.
For the P-2 Visa, you must provide the following documents:
- A filled-in visa application Form DS-156. Separate applications for each person are compulsory.
- One recent photograph 1 & 1/2 inches square (37mm x 37mm) of each applicant, with the entire face visible. The picture should be taken before a light background and without head covering.
- A passport, valid for travel to the United States for at least six months longer than your intended visit.
The petitioner must also provide documents that prove that the troupe/band are eligible for the visa. These documents include:
- Proof that all people involved in the program are artists or entertainers with talent.
- An official letter from the sponsor(s) noting the details of the exchange program.
- Proof that a labor organization mediated over the program.
- An official affidavit that confirms the existence of the exchange program between the US and a foreign country.