P-2 – Reciprocal Exchange Program
The P-2 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.
You must be an artist entering the United States through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program. In addition, you must possess skills comparable to those of the United States artists and entertainers taking part in the program outside the United States.
In order for you to qualify for a P-2 Visa, a sponsoring labor organization in the United States, or your U.S. employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker.
Please note that a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent.
The Form I-129 must include the following documents:
- Written consultation by an appropriate labor organization
- Copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the sponsoring U.S. organization(s) and the organization(s) in a foreign country which will receive the United States artist or entertainer
- Statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of United States artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which classification is sought
- Evidence that you and the U.S. artist or entertainer subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement are artists with comparable skills and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar
- Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the United States was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers.
Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.
Applying for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
Once the visa petition is approved, you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
|Initial Period of Stay||Extension of Stay|
|Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year||Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.|
Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay or change of employment.
Change of Employer
You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.
Family of P-2 Visa Holders
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.
Essential Support Personnel
Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P- 2 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-2 classification. Support personnel may include stagehands, trainers, or those persons having critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed.
The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:
- Consultation from an appropriate labor organization
- Statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-2 artist or entertainer
- Copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.
More information about visas to the United States, read in our Blog