P visas are available to Irish performers coming to the U.S., individually or as a part of a group to perform in music, theater, multi-media etc. P visas are also available to certain athletes coming to compete in the U.S. either individually or as a member of a team. Generally P visa recipients are not employees of a U.S. company, and consequently they need an agent or representative to initiate the visa process on their behalf. P-1 and P-3 visas are particularly suitable for artists who have pre-arranged performances scheduled in the U.S. and who have artistic representation such as a management company, public relations organization or booking agent who will process the visa application. Support personnel such as non-performing technical and other essential tour personnel can be granted P-1S or P-3S support visas.
The O-1 visa is often referred to as the visa of the stars. This is because it is defined as the visa for people of outstanding ability and reputation in their field of endeavor. Many entertainment personalities avail of the O-1 visa; film, theater, television, music and other artistic luminaries are often beneficiaries of the O-1 visa. However, a little know fact is that the O-1 visa is available also to people in science, business and athletics. The standard is high and the application for an O-1 visa requires a lot of proof that the person is indeed outstanding in their profession.
The above is a very broad outline of some of the U.S. visa categories available to Irish people. In future articles I will be expanding on some of the categories and will offer more detailed insight into the application and adjudication process.
James A. O’Malley is a principal in the law firm of O’Malley & Associates. He has been handling U.S. visa and immigration matters for almost thirty years. He is a native of Limerick City and a graduate of Galway University.
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Read more - How to get an Irish passport
*Originally published January 2014