The P-1 visa classification applies to you if you are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.
Individual Athletes Eligibility Criteria for P-1 visa
You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; 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.
Athletic Teams Eligibility Criteria
You must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.
Supporting Documents for P-1 visa
The Form I-129 must include the following documents:
- 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 in 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
- 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 you or your team is internationally recognized
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
- Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings
- Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport
Family of P-1A Visa Holders
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
Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete (team) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees. 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 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)
- 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
P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group
The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.
At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.
Your entertainment 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. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.
Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.
Special Provisions for Certain Entertainment Groups
Alien circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt the one year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement. The alien or aliens must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus. Certain nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained amount of time in consideration of special circumstances.
Your U.S. employer must submit:
- Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation.
- A consultation from an appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of the work to be done or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least one year (If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused)
Form I-129 must include the following documents:
- Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
- Itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances
- A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or summary of terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed
- Evidence that your group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year
- Statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group
- Evidence that your group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of your group’s receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field, or evidence of at least three of the following:
- Your group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements
- Your group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines or other published material
- Your group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials
- Your group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
- Your group has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field
- Your group has commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence