Performers need special visas
I am a local actor who has performed in many plays here in Trinidad and Tobago. My agent has recently booked my first job to perform in front of an audience in the United States. I do have a visa that is valid for another five years. It is a B1/B2 visa. Can I use this visa for my performance in the United States?
Sincerely, Eager Actor
Dear Eager Actor:
Trinidad and Tobago is a country with many talented artistes, performers, and athletes. One question that the US Embassy receives quite regularly concerns the proper kind of visa for an artiste or an athlete who wants to use their talents in a professional situation in the U.S.
There are various classifications of non-immigrant visas for a person who wishes to work temporarily in the United States, based on US immigration laws. If you want to work or perform in the US temporarily, under immigration law, you need a specific visa based on the purpose of your travel and type of work you will be doing. By far the most common visa category that Trinbagonians apply for here is the B1/B2 visa that can be used for tourism or limited business activities but which generally does not allow the traveler to work while in the US.
Performers, including athletes, actors and musicians, who intend to perform in the US— whether for pay or for free–usually need to apply for a performer visa with the classification of "P" or "O".
Even if you already have a valid tourist visa, you will likely need to apply for a performer visa to carry out these activities in the US. The process of applying for a performer visa is more complex than for a tourist visa, and requires coordination with a sponsor in the US prior to applying for a visa in Trinidad and Tobago. Performers going to the US should contact us early on to avoid problems.
We were happy to be able to issue close to 250 performer visas to Trinbagonian actors, musicians, and athletes last year.
Travellers can consult our website at http://trinidad.usembassy.gov/, e-mail
email@example.com or call the Embassy at 622-6371 between 2:00-3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.