Difference Between the US O Visa and P Visa

Both O visas and P visas are temporary US work visas for foreign nationals. While both of these immigrant visas are made available for individuals in the entertainment industry, they are designed for different circumstances.

There are three types of O visas: O-1 (O-1A & O1-B), O-2 and O-3. There are four types of P visas: P-1 (P-1A & P1B), P-2, P-3, P-4. Here we are going to focus on the O-1 visas and the P-1 visa.

O Visas – O-1A and O-1B
Both the O1-A visa and the O-1B visa may be granted to individuals with an extraordinary ability in their field. The O-1A visa is specifically for those in the sciences, education, business or athletics. The O1-B visa is available to actors, musicians and artists. Past achievement is key to the approval of these work visas.

O-1 visas may initially be requested for up to three years and further extended in one year increments indefinitely. Applicants for O visas do not need to demonstrate proof of binding ties to a residence outside the United States.

P Visas – P-1A and P-1B
The P-1 visas allow foreign athletes, artists and entertainers to enter the United States for a specific event, competition or performance.


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