Advisory Opinions for P visas.

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, any P visa requires an Advisory Opinion. Technically USCIS does not require Advisory Opinions to be submitted with the P visa petitions. The USCIS inquires on its on if Advisory Opinions are not included. The truth is that the labor organizations/associations simply do not reply. The absence of an advisory opinion provide a basis for USCIS to deny P1, P2, and P3 visas/applications.

What is Advisory Opinion?

The USCIS asks petitioners to include a letter from an appropriate peer group or union to establish that the artist who is traveling to the US meets the standard of being:

  • Internationally Renowned (O-1B and P-1B Visas) or
  • Existence and Legitimacy of a cultural exchange program (P-2 Visas are issued for artists and entertainers performing under a reciprocal exchange program)
  • Culturally Unique (in the case of P-3 Visas).

Advisory Opinion is a written document prepared by an appropriate labor organization that confirms that they do not object to the group’s entering to the United States. The USCIS does not do its own research to verify the qualifications of the performers. They simply consult appropriate labor organizations.

What organization can issue an Advisory Opinion for my group?

A single labor organization cannot issue all kinds of advisory opinions. Each labor union is limited to the particular area of their expertise. Please see some of the examples below:


AFM American Federation of Musicians

This group prepares advisory opinion/consultations on behalf of artists and groups in which instrumentalists make up least 50% of the personnel.

– AGMA American Guild of Musical Artists

Issues consultations for groups and individuals who play musical instruments, sing, dance at the same time. Most of the artist may use this labor organization.

– Actors’ Equity Association

AEA is the labor union representing American actors and stage managers in the theatre.

– Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (ATPAM)

Issues consultation for artists who are not really artists per se but are essential part of any theatrical performance.

– AMPTP The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers

Issues advisory opinions for those who organize Television performances.

– The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States.

This labor union is not for people who manage the whole performances but for those who provide essential background support.

– AGVA American Guild of Variety Artists

Consultation letters for artists such as dancers, actors, stage managers, stage technicians, operatic singers and writers are issued by other unions. This peer group us a catch-all group. Our attorney consult them when no other labor organization is a proper fit.

How long does it take to get an advisory opinion done?

Normally, labor organizations charge $250 for regular processing which 3-5 business days on average. Most of the advisory opinion places offer expedited service, which is significantly less, around 1 business day.

Actors’ Equity Association does not charge at all but they take up to 2 weeks to prepare labor consultations.

ilexlaw pllc immigration attorneys take pride in specializing on P visas. We prepare paperwork for hundreds of artists every month. We represent promoters in all 50 states in American and abroad as well.