Athletes & Entertainers (P-1)
Alien athletes who compete individually or as part of a team at an internationally recognized level, and alien entertainers who perform as part of a group that has received international recognition as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time are covered under the P-1 visa category. They must establish that they have a "high level of achievement in the field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that such achievement is renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country."
Athletes who perform at an internationally recognized level may be admitted in P-1 status. This classification may be granted to internationally recognized athletes based on their own reputation and achievements as individuals. In addition, the proposed services must require an internationally recognized athlete. Athletic teams must be recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline and must be coming to perform services that require such recognition.
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Petition should be filed by a US employer along with:
A contract between the athlete or team and a major US sports league or with the individual sports organization;
A consultation from a labor organization; and
At least two of the following types of evidence:
- Participation in a prior season with a major US sports league
- Participation at international events with a national team
- Participation in a prior season with a US collegiate team
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or other recognized expert outlining how the athlete or team is internationally recognized,
- A written statement from an official in the governing body of the sport outlining how the athlete or team is internationally recognized
- International ranking of the individual or team,
- Significant honors or awards in the sport received by the individual or team.
P-1 visas may also be issued to members of entertainment groups provided the entertainment group has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. Each member must have been with the group for at least one year and be entering the US solely to perform with the group. In addition, the proposed services must require an internationally recognized entertainment group, and the status is granted on the basis of the group's reputation, not on the basis of individual achievement.
The petition should be filed by a U.S. employer with:
A written consultation from a labor organization;
A statement that the group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year;
Evidence that the group has sustained international recognition by nomination or receipt of awards for outstanding achievement in the field, or by submitting three of the following types of evidence:
- The group has and will continue to perform a starring role in productions or events with a distinguished reputation
- The 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
- The group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
- The group has acquired a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes
- The group has achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field; or
- The group commands a high salary compared to others similarly situated
Support personnel of entertainment groups may also be admitted in the P-1 category. However, it is essential to prove that the support alien is a highly skilled, essential person determined to be an integral part of the performance of a P-1 alien because he or she performs support services that cannot be readily performed by a United States worker. Such aliens must have appropriate qualifications to perform the services, critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed, and experience in proving such support to the P-1 alien.
Stay and Extensions
The duration for which P-1 visa is issued is the time necessary for the specific competition, event, or performance; however, this rule is waived for individual athletes whose period of stay can be up to five years. Extension can be granted for an additional period of five years. Extensions are generally granted for one year each time it is sought by the alien in order to permit the alien to continue to complete the same event.