P-1 Visa


The P1 visa is available to athletes, and internationally recognized artist and entertainment groups for entering the U.S. to participate in internationally recognized events for a U.S. employer, or an international employer working through a U.S. agent.

P1 Visa Eligibility – It Is Suitable For:

Internationally recognized athletes or athletic teams entering the U.S. to participate in an event of international standing

Entertainers and entertainment companies recognized internationally as outstanding to tour the U.S. or participate in events

Distinguished circus artists who wish to work in the U.S.

Support personnel of P visa holders

U.S. agents and companies to bring athletes, athletic teams and their support personnel to participate in events of international standing

U.S. agents and companies to bring in entertainers and entertainment companies recognized internationally as outstanding to tour the U.S. or participate in events

P1 Athlete Visa Benefits

Your dependents can stay with you as long as you maintain your P1 status. They can also attend school

You can freely travel in and out of the U.S. provided you have a valid visa

P Visa Requirements

To qualify for a P1 visa, the following requirements must be fulfilled:

  1. Athletes And Athletic Teams
  2. You must be recognized internationally in your sport, and must be coming to the U.S. to perform services which require such recognition.

    You must provide evidence of having legally contracted with a major U.S. sports league, or organization, and offer proof of at least two of the following:

    • Significant participation in U.S. major sports league in prior seasons
    • Participation in international competitions with a national team
    • Significant participation in a prior U.S. college/university season in inter-collegiate competitions Written statement from a major U.S. sports league or official of the sport’s governing body demonstrating the alien’s or team’s international recognition
    • Written statement from the sports media or a recognized expert
    • International ranking provided by internationally recognized sports’ organizations
    • Significant honors/awards in the sport
  3. Artists And Entertainment Groups
  4. Your group’s achievements must be recognized internationally, and the group must be coming to the U.S. to perform services that require such recognition.

    1. You must provide evidence of a legal contract with a U.S. employer or agent, and prove that
      1. The proposed services in the U.S. require an internationally recognized entertainment group
      2. Seventy-five per cent of your group members have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group for at least one year and provide functions integral to the group’s performance
      3. Your group received significant international awards or prizes, or nominations for its outstanding achievements
    2. .In addition to the above requirements, your group must offer proof of at least three of the following:
      1. Your group has performed, or will be performing, as a starring or leading entertainment group in events with distinguished reputation
      2. Your group has received international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievements
      3. Your group has performed and will be performing services as a leading or starring group for organizations or establishments with a distinguished reputation
      4. Your group has had major commercial or critically acclaimed successes
      5. Your group is highly recognized, for its achievements, by organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts
      6. Your group has commanded or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration comparable to others similarly situated
P1 Visa Notes

To change the purpose of your visit while you are in the U.S. on a P1 visa, you must change your visa status.

The information provided here is applicable to New P1 Visa and P1 Extension.

Applying For The P1 Visa

You cannot apply for a P1 visa as an individual. A U.S. employer has to sponsor your P1 visa. Your employer must file USCIS Form I-129, petition for nonimmigrant workers with Form I-129 O/P supplement and supporting documentation with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the USCIS approves the P1 visa petition, you may apply for the P1 visa at an American Consulate overseas.

  1. Peer Group Consultation
  2. Prior to filing the P1 visa petition with the USCIS, your employer must obtain an advisory opinion from an appropriate consulting entity or a labor organization, or show that an appropriate peer group, labor organization or management organization does not exist.

    If the position is covered under a union contract, your employer may need to obtain a letter of no-objection signed by an official union representative of the local chapter. The letter must state your name and the name of your employer, along with the name of the labor organization and the name and address of the local chapter. The letter must state that the labor organization has reviewed pertinent information about your position and credentials, and that hiring you will not “adversely affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers and that, therefore, it has no objection to you being hired”.

  3. Filing The P1 Petition
    1. A P1 petition is filed on USCIS Form I-129, along with the Form I-129O/P supplement. Your P1 visa petition documents must include:
      1. Written contract between your group and the U.S. employer or agent, or, if there is no written contract, a thorough description of your oral agreement
      2. An explanation of the event and its itinerary
    2. Athletes and athletic teams must submit at least two of the following documents:
      1. Records of previous participations in a major U.S. sports league
      2. Records of participation on a national team at international events
      3. Records of participation to a significant extent in a prior season with a U.S. collegiate team
      4. Statements from official governing bodies of the sport outlining international recognition of the athlete or athletic team
      5. Statements from recognized experts in the sport and members of the sport media outlining international recognition of the athlete or athletic team
      6. Evidence of the athlete’s high rank in sports which use ranking systems
      7. Evidence of significant awards the athlete or the athletic team has received
    3. Artists and Entertainment Groups must submit at least two of the following documents
      1. Records of the group’s participation in internationally reputed events
      2. Record of group’s international recognition as shown by reviews in papers, trade journals, etc.
      3. Recognition of group’s achievements by leaders in the field
      4. Record of group’s commercial success
      5. If you are overseas, the USCIS will notify the consulate nearest to your permanent residence. You must take the P1 approval notice to the American Consulate to obtain the P1 visa. If you are already in the U.S., you can start working for your employer as soon as you receive the approval for a change of status.

    4. Premium Processing of The P 1 Athlete Visa And P1 Entertainment Visa
      You may have your P1 petition adjudicated within 15 calendar days by applying for premium processing.
    5. For an additional fee of U.S. $1,440, the USCIS guarantees a prompt decision on your P1 petition. You will receive either an approval notice, a request for further evidence, a notice of intent to deny the petition, or a notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within 15 calendar days from the date you applied for premium processing of your P1 visa. If the USCIS fails to respond within 15 calendar days, it will refund the $1,440 fee and continue to process the petition under the expedited process.

    6. Applying For The P1 Visa At An American Consulate
    7. To apply for the P1 visa, you must furnish the original or a copy of the Notice of Action, Form I-797A or B (the approval notice forwarded to your employer when the petition is approved). Your visa application must include the following documents:

      • DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
      • A copy of your passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
      • Passport style color photograph showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member A letter from your U.S. employer detailing your position and a statement that you possess skills essential to the performance of the job offered
      • Duration of Stay
A. Athletes And Athletic Teams

You may be initially issued the P1 Athlete Visa with validity of up to five years. The USCIS may grant further extensions in one-year increments with the total stay on P1 athlete visa not exceeding ten years.

B. Artists And Entertainers

You may be issued the P1 valid for the period necessary to perform the event not exceeding one year. An entertainment event could include an entire season of performances. The USCIS may grant further extensions of stay in one-year increments with a total stay on P1 artist visa not exceeding ten years.

Spouse and Children

Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join you in the U.S. for the duration of your stay can apply for P4 visas.

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