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Essential Workers and the P Visa Category

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What is a P Visa For Essential Workers?

The U.S. has an immigration program that allows nonimmigrants in the entertainment industry or athletic associations to live and work in the United States during their performance.

However, these entertainers or athletes may require support staff to help with the essential duties to ensure a successful performance.

Individuals who meet the qualifications necessary to be considered essential workers would also need a P visa to enter and work in the country while the project is ongoing. However, there are specific rules and qualifications that individuals who hold a P visa must adhere to while performing essential support staff duties.

As a result, visa and immigration issues can be overly complex and challenging to navigate without the assistance of a qualified Chicago immigration attorney.


P-1, P-2, and P-3 visa holders can bring support personnel to assist with their events. However, individuals who wish to be classified as essential personnel must also have a P visa. Whatever visa the performer or athlete works under would be the same designation for the essential worker associated with the performance.

However, individuals wishing to be considered essential workers must prove they can perform services that U.S. workers cannot similarly perform. These individuals must also prove they have the proper qualifications, experience, and critical knowledge to perform these duties.


A petition for essential workers and P visas must be accompanied by supporting documentation that the USCIS will review. This supporting documentation includes:

  • A consultation from a labor organization with proficiency in the essential worker’s skill set.
  • A written statement describing the essential worker’s prior work experience and critical skills concerning the individual who will possess the principal P visa.
  • A summary of the oral agreement or written contract between the essential worker and the employer.

Ensuring that you have the required supporting documentation can be a daunting task. However, an immigration lawyer can provide individuals who wish to obtain a qualifying P visa more information about how to obtain documentation and thus make the process go more smoothly.

What Privileges Are Associated With a P Visa?

There are several privileges associated with having a P visa, which includes:

  • P visas are typically issued promptly.
  • P visa allows the essential worker to work in the U.S. legally.
  • P visas are granted for the length of time needed to complete the performance or particular event up to one year.
  • P visa holders are also allocated time for a vacation, stopovers involved with the event, and promotional appearances.
  • A P visa holder is allowed to travel in and out of the U.S. or stay continuously as long as the P visa remains valid.
  • The spouse or unmarried children under 21 may accompany the P visa holder but may not seek or obtain employment within the United States.

Even though there are significant privileges associated with holding a P visa, there are drawbacks that individuals should be aware of ahead of time. For example, essential support personnel should know they will be required to obtain a new P visa if they change jobs. It is best to consult with an experienced P visa lawyer for more information.

An Experienced Immigration Attorney Ready to Explain the P Visa Legal Process

As with all immigration and visa legal issues, you must hire an experienced attorney to ensure the process is as efficient as possible. One of the most considerable benefits of hiring a P visa lawyer is they understand the qualifications necessary to be considered an essential worker.

Many individuals may need help figuring out where to start when trying to obtain an essential support personnel P visa. However, hiring a visa and immigration lawyer can help alleviate the uncertainty and stress as they guide you through the often confusing legal process.

If you are an essential worker who needs to acquire a P visa to enter the country as an essential worker, contact SwagatUSA, LLC of Chicago, at (312) 854-7065 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. A qualified legal team member will be happy to discuss your case and determine what options may be available.

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