The Differences Between an O Visa and a P Visa

When seeking visas for entertainers and athletes, the two most common visas considered are the O visa and the P visa. Both visas are nonimmigrant visas that are used for the purpose of coming to the United States to perform a sport or craft. However, there are some important differences to consider when deciding which visa is the right one for you.

 

What is an O Visa?

An O Visa is available for those individuals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, film, or television. Applicants for O visas must show that they have national or international acclaim or that they have received internationally recognized awards.

 

What is a P Visa?

A P visa is available for athletes, entertainers, entertainment groups, and culturally unique artists. For athletes applying for a P visa, it must be demonstrated that the individual has a level of skill substantially above the ordinary ability for athletes. Entertainers must be internationally recognized.

 

Advantages of an O Visa Over a P Visa

  • An O visa includes individuals in a wide range of fields, while a P visa is only for athletes and entertainers.
  • Individuals with an O visa are not required to maintain a residence in another country, while a P visa holder must have a residence abroad with an intent to return to that residence
  • A worker with an O visa can stay in the United States longer than a P visa holder
  • An O visa is a dual intent visa, just like a P visa, which means that the person can work in the United States with the intention of obtaining a green card.
  • A spouse or child of an O visa holder can get their own visa, same as with a P visa

Advantages of a P Visa Over an O Visa

  • The eligibility standards for a P visa are lower than those for an O visa.
  • To obtain a P visa, it must be demonstrated that you have international recognition on only one occasion
  • Both individuals and groups can be admitted to the United States under a P visa, while only an individual can obtain an O visa.
  • Under a P visa, a nonimmigrant can enter as part of a reciprocal exchange program between a United States organization and a foreign program that allows for the exchange of artists and entertainers.

 

An Immigration Attorney Can Help

If you are struggling to decide which visa is right for you, you should consider consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, we have the knowledge to help you weigh your options and determine which program will serve your needs the best. Contact us online or call us at 305-924-1133 to schedule a consultation.

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Serving Immigrants

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

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