The P-1 visa is reserved for internationally recognized athletes or entertainment groups that have been recognized in the field
More Information About the Process
If you are an athlete applying for a P-1A visa, you typically must be internationally recognized and be entering the US to perform in an individual event, such as a performance or competition. You can demonstrate this recognition through high level achievement, skill and recognition that is well above others in the field. Your achievement must be renowned and leading at the international level, and must be in more than one country.
Athletic teams who are entering the US to participate in team events may also apply for P-1 visas. A team must have achieved significant, international recognition in the sport in which it will be participating. The sporting event must also be “distinguished”, requiring the participation of teams that are internationally recognized as well. For example, the Olympics or other international competitions.
If you are a member of an entertainment or musical group applying for this visa, you must also have been internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained period of time. This means that the group must have a high level of achievement, which can be demonstrated through skill and recognition that is well above other entertainment groups in the field. It is important to demonstrate the reputation of the group as a whole.
Another consideration for entertainment groups is that at least 75% of the members of the group must have been together for at least one year, however there are certain exemptions to this requirement.
Frequently asked questions about P-1 Visa
1. What is the difference between P-1A and P-1B?
There are two categories of P visas. Generally, the P-1A is for athletes while the P-1B is for entertainment groups.
2. What is a “consultation”?
While certain exceptions may apply, a consultation or a written advisory opinion is a letter from the appropriate peer group or labor union confirming that the applicant does indeed meet the extraordinary ability qualifications or that there is no objection to the application. The consultation must be submitted in conjunction with a P-1 application.
3. Do I need an employer in the US?
Technically yes. However, individuals who are traditionally self-employed or want to work for more than one entity, may use a U.S. agent who can file on behalf of multiple employers or act as an employer. If an agent is used, additional documentation is required, such as an itinerary, contracts and authorization.
4. Can I bring my staff to the US?
Support personnel, such as coaches, scouts, trainers, referees, office or stage personnel, technicians in lighting, camera and others may be eligible to accompany a P-1 applicant if they are essential and critical to the P-1 applicant’s performance and perform services that cannot be performed by a US worker.
5. How long is the P-1 valid for?
Individual athletes can obtain the P-1 for the time required in order to complete the event, but the visa cannot exceed:
Extensions may be granted in increments of 5 years or less, but cannot exceed 10 years for the individual athletes or support staff. Entertainment groups can obtain the P-1 for the time required to complete the performance, but the visa cannot exceed 1 year. Extensions may be granted in increments of 1 year or less.
Why should you hire Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell to represent you?
Our firm has experienced U.S. immigration lawyers who have worked with major companies and individuals around the world. We would be happy to assist you or your company by providing advice and handling applications to help achieve your short and long-term US immigration goals. P-1 applications can be extremely difficult and require extensive documentation under tight deadlines. If you wish to obtain a P-1 it is important to properly highlight aspects of the applicant’s career in order to present the strongest case possible. Contact us today to book a consultation or fill out the assessment form.
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