Visas for Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers

Sports Immigration Lawyer in Washington DC

Athletes, Artists and Entertainers coming to compete or perform temporarily in the United States must obtain specific types of visas in the O visa category and P visa categoryWashington Immigration Attorney Robert Charles Hill has represented some of the world’s renowned athletes and professional sports organizations with personal or employment-related immigration and visa matters.  Mr. Hill has in-depth market-sector knowledge and experience in the unique needs of professional athletes and professional baseball clubs in the immigration process and has built a successful practice finding solutions for internationally acclaimed clients from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

O Visas for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

The O-1 visa is available to foreign nationals having extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics that is demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and who are coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. It is also available to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the television or motion picture industry.

The O-2 visa category is designated for essential support personnel that accompany and assist an O-1 visa holder in a specific athletic or artistic event or in the motion picture or television industry.  O-2 visas are not available for those who accompany or assist O-1 visa holders in education, science, or business.  The O-2 visa applicant must be an integral part of the O-1 visa holder’s actual performances or events and must be experienced utilizing critical skills and services for the O-1 alien that cannot be performed or possessed by others.  In the case of a motion picture or television production, the O-2 visa applicant additionally must have a long standing working relationship with the O-1 alien that is essential to the successful completion of a production that is taking place both inside and outside the United States.

Spouses and dependent children accompanying or following to join the O-1 or O-2 visa holder are eligible to apply for an O-3 visa.  The O-3 dependent may not work in this classification but may engage in full-time or part-time study.

P Visas for Athletes and Performing Artists

The P visa category is divided into 4 distinct classifications that relate to foreign athletes and entertainers:

The P-1 visa is designated for foreign athletes, entertainers, and artists who are coming temporarily to the United States to perform at a specific event, performance, or competition (either individually or as part of a group or team).  The P-1 visa is available to the athlete – including managers, coaches and trainers in some cases – who is coming for a specific competition to perform at an internationally recognized level of performance.  This visa also is available to the foreign national coming to perform with an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally for being outstanding in their filed and who has had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group for a significant period of time.

The P-2 visa is designated for artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, entering the United States temporarily as a part of a government-recognized reciprocal exchange program.  The reciprocal exchange program must be between organizations in the United States and one or more foreign states.

The P-3 visa is designated for artists or entertainers coming temporarily to the United States to perform, teach, or coach under a program that is culturally unique.

Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holder may obtain a P-4 visa to accompany the principal visa holder to the United States.  The P-4 dependent may engage in full-time or part-time study but may not work without receiving work authorization.

The Law Firm of Washington Immigration Attorney Robert Charles Hill – Hill Visa Law – is experienced in working with its clients to provide such counsel and will be happy to assist you. To arrange a telephone consultation, call us at (202) 721-7205 or use the consultation form to describe your circumstances.

Caveat: The information above is intended to be only a general description of various visa categories under United States immigration laws and must not be construed as legal advice applicable in any specific matter. Facts and circumstances will vary from case to case and adequate counsel can be provided only upon deliberate consideration of the needs and circumstances of an individual client.



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