P-1 VISAThe Visa for Performing Artists, Athletes or Entertainers
What are P-1 Visas?
P-1 non-immigrant visas allow qualified foreign athletes and entertainment groups to live and work in the U.S. under an employment visa status. This visa is reserved for foreign athletes, individually or as part of a group or team, and entertainment groups whose performance is internationally recognized.
In order to be able to apply for a P-1 visa, a U.S. employer or a agent must submit a petition along with a consultation from an appropriate labor organization should it exist.
There are two categories in the P-1A visa, including the P-1A for individual athletes and the P-1A for athletic teams.
In the case of athletic teams, they must be coming to participate in team event or events and must have significant international recognition in the sport they are coming to play. Besides, the event must require the participation of internationally recognized athletes.
In the case of a P-1A application, USCIS requires that the petitioner(s) provide 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; and/or
- Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.
In the case of a P-B application, USCIS requires that the petitioner(s) provide 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; and/or
- 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.
If you are interested in obtaining a P visa for yourself or your employees, give us a call today. We will determine the best strategy for your case and guide you through common issues that may lead to delays or denials.