Athletes, Entertainers & Culturally Unique Performers: P Visas | Athlete Visa Immigration Lawyer
P-1: Athletes and Entertainment Groups
Athletes that travel to the United States temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition, or those who travel individually, or as part of a team, are all capable of attaining P-1 Classification. In order to apply for a P-1 visa, an athlete must be coming to the United States to participate in an individual or team event, competition, or performance in which the athlete is internationally recognized for having a high level of achievement. The athlete's achievement should be evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading, or well known in more than one country.
In order for an athlete to apply for a P-1 Visa, a Form I-129 must be returned including the following:
- A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization.
- A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract for an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport.
- An explanation of the event and itinerary in which the athlete will participate.
Documentation of at least two of the following:
- Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league.
- Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in international competition with a national team.
- Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition.
- A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport, which details how the athlete or team is internationally recognized.
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport, which details how the athlete or team is internationally recognized.
- Evidence that the athlete or team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings.
- Evidence that the athlete or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.
P-1 Entertainment Groups
A P-1 visa may also be granted to an entertainer who is part of an entertainment group. In order to qualify for the P-1 visa, 75 percent of the members of the entertainment group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year. Additionally, the group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. It is important to note that it is the reputation of the group, not individual performer, which is taken into consideration upon an entertainer or performer's application for a P-1 visa.
The following documents must be included with an entertainer's Form I-129 application:
- Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization.
- Dates and locations of the performances in which the entertainer will participate.
- A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary.
- Evidence that the entertainment group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year.
- A statement listing each member of the group and the dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group.
- Evidence that the group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time, as demonstrated by evidence of the group's receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field.
Period of Stay for P-1 Visa Holders
The athlete, performer, or entertainment group is allowed to stay as long as needed to complete the event, competition, or performance, but this time may not exceed one (1) year. However, an applicant may extend the stay in increments of up to one additional year in order to continue or complete the event, competition, or performance.
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