We stand with the women of Iran!​

O & P: Comparing O Visa with P Visa

Comparing O and P Visas to the US


Comparing O Visa with P Visa in the US: there are certain types of visas that allow for the entry of exceptionally talented individuals: EB-1, O, and P visas. O visa and P visa, both are non-immigrant visas, and are used by artists and talented people in fields of sciences, entertainment, sports, and business in order to enter the US without a permanent work offer. While both the O and P visas are targeted towards artists and/or exceptionally skilled individuals, there are fundamental differences between said visas. While this article will provide a general overview, the experienced attorneys at Sethi & Mazaheri can provide specific, tailored advice for each case.

Comparing O and P Visas to the US

To qualify for the O visa an individual must excel, or have an extraordinary ability, in their respective field. Performers and actors comprise many of the O visa applicants as they are talented artists who often are employed on specific projects or present on a temporary basis. These individuals often do not have employment offers for a full-time, permanent position (however, exceptions do exist). Without a permanent employer or contract, it becomes the responsibility of an agent to sponsor the talented applicant. The most obvious examples of O visa applicants are famous performing artists, athletes, and other foreign celebrities, but individuals outside of the entertainment and athletic world can also qualify. The O visa is granted according to separate criteria for each field. On average, the applicant must prove that their skills and/or talent place them within a small subset of the population and demonstrate their level of distinction.

An individual must excel, or have extraordinary ability, in their respective field for O visa, but P visa is restricted more to those in the arts and athletics.

While exceptionally skilled individuals in almost any field can apply for an O visa, a P visa is restricted more to those in the arts and athletics. Furthermore, those who wish to receive a P visa must prove that they have been internationally renowned for a period of time. Also, a P visa is open to not only foreign individuals but also groups. Entertainment or sports groups can be granted a P visa for the duration of their time in the US (whether for a competition or performance event). Moreover, if a US-based group has a foreign member, said member can receive a P visa in order to take part in activities with that US-based group.

When deciding to apply for either an O or P visa, it is very important that the applicant receives specific advice so that they are granted the appropriate visa for their professional needs. Contact us at Sethi & Mazaheri in order to receive a free consultation regarding your visa eligibility.

Let us work on your case

Or simply fill out the form and one of our attorneys will get back to you pretty shortly.

We're Here
To Assist You

Subscribe to Sethi & Mazaheri’s monthly newsletter and receive important immigration-related  updates.

Skip to content