O & P Visas - Persons with Extraordinary Ability, Athletes, & Performers

helps people with extraordinary ability, athletes & performers obtain
employment visas.

Athletes, singers, performance groups and many other talented people come from all over the world to perform in the United States.  These talented individuals increase our cultural understanding and level of competition in many, many different areas.  Although many people's thoughts often default to top flight athletes, like David Beckham, the O visas and P visas are available for a wide array of athletes, performers, entertainers, coaches, trainers, support staff and more. 


O visas are available to those with extraordinary ability in:
  • sciences
  • education
  • business
  • athletics
  • arts
  • motion picture or television industries
This is an extremely limited visa reserved only for those who have reached national or international acclaim in their area.  You can obtain an O visa for up to 3 years with extensions beyond that.  Support staff, spouses, and children may also accompany the O-1 visa holder. 

What is extraordinary ability? 
  • major international or nationally recognized award, like the Nobel prize, member of a national all-star team, an Emmy, etc.,
  • membership in a  prestigious industry association,
  • published materials describing achievements,
  • role as a judge of the work of others,
  • original and significant contributions to the field,
  • authorship of published scholarly article in the field,
  • employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations with distinguished reputations,
  • high salary or remuneration,
  • performance in a  lead, starring or critical role in productions, events, or organizations with distinguished reputations
  • achievement of national or international recognition
  • record of major commercial or critical acclaimed successes
  • significant recognition for achievements from government organizations or experts in the field
  • comparable evidence


While the requirements for an O visa are quite stringent and apply to a very small percentage of the population, P visas are available for many athletes, coaches, teams, and group entertainers not eligible for the O visa.

P-1 Athletes & Teams

The P-1 visa is for athletes who are coming to the United States to perform in an athletic competition at an internationally recognized level. 

A P-1 Athlete or team must show the following: 
  • internationally recognized reputation
  • athletic competition has a distinguished reputation; and
  • competition requires participation of an athlete or team with international reputation.
  • Any 2 of the following:
    • Significant participation in a prior season in the major leagues
    • International competition with national team
    • Significant participation in a prior season for U.S. college or university or intercollegiate competition
    • Written statement from U.S. official in sport about person or team’s international recognition
    • Written statement from expert or sports media as to international recognition
    • Team or individual ranking
    • Significant honor or award in sport; or
  • Perform as a professional athlete employed by either a professional sports team in association with 6 or more teams that have combined revenues in excess of $10,000,000 or a minor league team affiliated with such association.
P-1 Entertainment Groups

The P-1 visa is also for entertainment groups coming to the United States to perform in a performance that has been recognized internationally.

A P-1 Entertainment Group must show:
  • group internationally recognized for sustained and substantial period of time
    • group has been nominated or has received significant international awards, or
    • 3 of the following:
      • star or lead in performance that has distinguished reputation
      • reviews in major publication
      • star or lead in performance for organization that has distinguished reputation
      • major commercial or critically acclaimed success
      • testimonials regarding group's significant recognition
      • group will command or has commanded a high salary
  • 75% of the members in the group have sustained and substantial relationship with the group for 1 year
  • group has been performing for at least 1 year
  • list of members and dates employed
P-2 - Reciprocal Exchange Program

The P-2 visa is for artists or entertainers (including groups) coming to the United States to perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and an organization in a  foreign country. 

P-3 - Culturally Unique Program

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

P-4 - Spouse or child of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holder

Spouses and children of P-1, P-2, and P-3 visa holder may accompany their family members to the United States on a P-4 visa. 

If you or someone you know is interesting in setting up a consultation to determine eligibility for an O or P visa, extensions, change of status, adjustment of status or any other issues relating to the O or P visa, please call us.

Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon



407-228-2019 (Orlando). 
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