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USCIS Now Directly Accepts Negative Consultation Letters for P Visas

By February 8, 2019May 20th, 2021Extraordinary Ability, Immigration
Immigration and Business Law

In September 2018, USCIS created a venue to accepts copies of negative consultation letters directly from labor unions for O nonimmigrant visas. For more information about O-1 petitions, please click here. Effective immediately, USCIS will also directly accept negative letters for P visas.

P nonimmigrant visas are available for individuals coming to the U.S. temporarily to:

  • Perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance (P-1A nonimmigrant classification). P athletes include:
    • Internationally recognized athletes
    • Certain professional athletes, certain amateur athletes or coaches, and professional or amateur athletes performing in a theatrical ice skating production under the COMPETE Act
  • Perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time (P-1B nonimmigrant classification);
  • 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 U.S. and an organization in another country (P-2 nonimmigrant classification); or
  • Perform, teach, or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique (P-3 nonimmigrant classification).

Scott Legal has successfully completed P-3 visas for members of an Albania folk band.

A consultation letter from a U.S. peer group, labor organization, and/or management organization is generally required for petitions in the O and P visa classifications. One of the most important components of a successful petition is the submission of reference letters from experts in the beneficiary’s field of ability. In fact, they form the backbone of many petitions, as the expert writers of these letters can address how the beneficiary meets any of the other O and P visa criteria. For more information on who should and how to write a reference letter, please click here.

This venue was created when after some labor unions brought up concerns that some advisory opinions may be falsified by applicants and submitted to USCIS as favorable consultations when in fact these were negative. Starting from now, labor unions that provide negative consultation letters will be able to send a copy of it directly to USCIS so that officers can compare the letters.  The process of submitting the necessary P visa documents and requirements remain unchanged.

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