When to File an O or P Petition
File petitions as early as possible to be spared the Premium Processing fee, to build in time to address possible complications, RFEs, or denials that may lead to re-filing, and to allow ample time for consular processing to be completed. Visa petitioners may submit I-129 applications for O or P visas up to a maximum of one year in advance of their need for the foreign artist’s services.
Indeed, filing well in advance is critical. Always file absolutely as early as possible, and at least six months in advance unless premium processing. No service center sympathizes with those who, with proper planning, could have filed sufficiently in advance but did not, only later to seek an expedite!
While USCIS has promised to speed up and improve the quality of regular O and P artist visa processing, striving to do so within an average of 14 days, do not rely on 14-day processing for regularly filed petitions. Petitioners can view average processing times for USCIS service centers online.