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Permissible Activities in O and P Status

An O-1 alien may enter the U.S. for an approved event or events, meaning:

an activity, such as, but not limited to, a . . . conference, convention, lecture series, tour, exhibit . . . academic year, or engagement.  Such activity may include short vacations, promotional appearances, and stopovers that are incidental and/or related to the event.  A group of related activities may also be considered to be an event. . . .

In short, an event is whatever activities USCIS approves, ranging from a single performance, to a series of activities in an itinerary, to a multi-year contract. Note, however, that significant gaps between performances that are not explained in the petition may result in an RFE for explanation of the gap or a truncated classification period.  In general, USCIS will not question gaps of less than about 45-60 days, and USCIS has issued an official memorandum clarifying that that there is no policy limiting the allowable gap between engagements in an itinerary.

P-1B and P-3 groups, and their essential support personnel, may enter the U.S. solely in connection with the proposed group activities, and cannot perform services separate and apart from the group. Also, the regulations make it fairly clear that P-1B groups may perform only in their own name, or at least have a featured (and publicized) role.  Otherwise, the permissible activities are the same as for the O-1B category.

Note that new performance dates may be added/subtracted within the classification period without a new petition in some circumstances.  Please see our section on Adding Activities Versus Petition Amendments for more details.