The P-1 visa is a temporary visa, assigned for those who are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of whole group or team, which is recognized internationally.
- A P visa is divided into two subcategories; P-1A for an internationally known athlete and P-1B for an internationally known entertainer.
- P-1 visas are issued to entertainers, circus artists, and athletes who wish to work in the U.S.
The P-1 visa is a temporary visa, assigned for those who are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of whole group or team, which is recognized internationally. A P visa is divided into two subcategories; P-1A for an internationally known athlete and P-1B for an internationally known entertainer. Artists and athletes are essential for a healthy cultural exchange. The global community benefits greatly from the work of each country’s greatest thinkers and performers. P-1 visas are issued to entertainers, circus artists, and athletes who wish to work in the U.S. Individual members of the entertainment industry are not eligible for the P-1 visa classification, but individual athletes are. Individual artists cannot usually get a P-1 visa, except when rest of their group members are already in the United States. Athletes, entertainers, and artists must be known internationally for their outstanding performance to be allowed P visas and have a constant period of achievement no less than one year; minimum 75 percent of the group’s individual members must have a maintained relationship to the group, generally satisfied by at least one year of membership.
Members of the entertainment industry will be issued the visa for a specific event only. However, individual athletes may be allowed for five years and a team for a period of six months. Entertainment groups with an outstanding international reputation can be granted P-1 classification as a unit; however, individual entertainers within these groups cannot apply for separate visas.
In order to compete in the U.S., outstanding athletes may apply for this visa either as individuals or as members of an internationally recognized athletic team. This is applicable for two eligibility criteria:
- Individual Athletes: Applicant must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition, or performance in which he/she is known internationally with a high level of achievement; proved by a degree of skill and acknowledgement substantially above that ordinarily sustained so that the achievement is notable, leading, or well-known in more than one country.
- Athletic Teams/Group: They must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international identification in their particular area. The situation in which team/group is participating must be grand and need the participation of athletic teams of international acknowledgement.
Entertainment group must be internationally acknowledged, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition considerably above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is important. At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had an important and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.
Following are certain procedures which should be taken care of at the time of filing for P-1 visa petition:
- The employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, with suitable fee and supporting documentation.
- A petitioner as an agent, when filing petition for multiple employers must organize that it is properly authorized to act as an agent. See the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications.” If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused.
- A consultation from an appropriate labor organization must be submitted by the U.S. employer.
- The consultation must distinguish the work or services to be performed in the U.S. and abilities for such work.
- A consultation from an appropriate labor organization according to the nature of work to be done or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for the duration of at least one year (If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused).
Form I-129 regarding athlete must include the following documents:
- A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization.
- An explanation of the event and plan of travel.
- A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international acknowledgement in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport.
- Documentation of at least two of the following:
- Proof about you and your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings.
- Proof about you or your team that has obtained a significant honor or award in the sport.
- Proof of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition.
- Proof about how you and your team internationally acknowledged in the form of a written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport.
- Proof of having participated to a significant magnitude in a prior season with a major United States sports league.
- Proof of having participated to a significant magnitude in international competition with a national team.
Form I-129 regarding entertainer must include the following documents:
- Proof about the group which has been established and performing regularly for at least one year.
- A written consultation from the suitable labor organization.
- Itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances.
- Providing contract detail copy done between the petitioner and the beneficiary or summary of terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed.
- Proof that your group is internationally acknowledged as excellent in the discipline for a maintained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of your group’s receipt of, or nomination for, prizes for outstanding achievement in the field or significant international awards, or evidence of at least three of the following:
- Group has received significant acknowledgement for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field.
- Outstanding achievement with international recognition and acclaim in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, magazines, trade journals, or other published material.
- Having a record of major commercial or critically renowned successes, as proved by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, video sales, cassette, or other achievements as reported in newspapers, trade journals, or other publications.
- Group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in events which have a distinguished esteem as proved by critical reviews, publicity releases, advertisements, contracts, or endorsements.
- Group has commanded and will demand a high salary or other important payment for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field, as proved by contracts or other reliable proof.
Family Status (For P-1A & P-1B)
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment but may attend school or college.
Essential Support Personnel who are a necessary part of the performance of a P-1 athlete (team) / P-1 entertainer(s) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker are eligible for P-1 classification. Athlete, support personnel may include trainers, scouts, coaches, other team officials, and referees. Entertainer, support personnel include front office personnel, operators, lighting technicians, camera, and stage personnel.
The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:
- A consultation from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill.
- A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentiality, critical skills, and experience with the P-1 athlete (team)/ P-1 entertainer(s).
- A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.
Source of Information: www.uscis.gov