What is US P1 Visa for Internationally Recognized Athlete/Entertainer?

The United States P1 visa classification is aimed at enabling highly-profile athletes or entertainers to seek entry to the US soil, stay here for a specific period of time and perform in different events like fairs, art shows, athlete shows, theaters etc.

Though this is a nonimmigrant visa, but the applicant is allowed to maintain dual intent. During his/her stay in America, a beneficiary can also apply for the green card, and if granted, can live over here forever.

The criteria to qualify for the P-1 visa is that the athlete or entertainer should have some remarkable and well acknowledged achievements and accomplishments to his/her credit. The second requirement is that he/she must have an invitation or offer from a US employer, a team, an agent or an arts group to perform in some high-rank event in America. The offer can be from an individual event or a competition, but the event should be of international level or recognized in more than one country.

In order to join a performing team, the applicant should have a valid invitation from the team organizer and the team should be of the nature that it requires foreign members to perform in an event or a series of events.

The US employer or the team will fill up the Form I-129, Petition For Nonimmigrant Worker, and submit it with the USCIS along with appropriate supporting documents. The supporting documents include a written consultation from a labor organization, a copy of the contract with a major America sports team or an arts group, an explanation and description of the event and two of the following evidences:

  • Evidence of having worked for a major US league in any of the previous seasons.
  • Evidence of having performed in some significant international event.
  • Evidence of having participated in an US university or inter-college competition.
  • A written statement from an office of any of the US sports league to prove that how your and you team are internationally recognized.
  • A written statement from a journalist of sports media or an expert from some sports governing body to prove that how you and your team are internationally recognized.
  • You and your team should have some rank in international rankings.
  • Evidence that you and your team have achieved some significant award.
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If the petitioner is an agent, who is applying on behalf of multiple employers, he must prove that he is fully authorized to do so.

Once the visa petition is approved, the athlete or entertainer should apply for the P-1 visa in the resident US consulate.

The period of stay for an individual athlete can be up to five years maximum, however, it can be extended with the addition of five more years provided the event is not completed.

For an athlete group or team, the visa validity period is just one year which can be extended to one year more.

A beneficiary, after reaching the US, can change his/her employer provided the employer fills the Form I-129 and requests extension in the visa validity.

The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can accompany the beneficiary by gaining the P-4 status. They cannot be engaged in any sort of employment, however, they can do their studies in any of the American academic institute.

The supporting personnel of a beneficiary including coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees can also be eligible for the P-1 status provided the beneficiary proves that his/her supporting tasks cannot be done by any US worker. The US petition will have to fill a separate Form I-129 and enclose the supporting documents with it.

Any P-1 visa holder, at any stage of his/her stay in the US, can apply for the citizenship.

Thus, the P-1 visas are of great advantage for the well-qualified athletes and entertainers, no matter what country they belong to, to visit America and demonstrate their professional skills and earn international appreciation and awards. This visa classification benefits a number of athletes every year from all over the world.

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If you think you have some extraordinary ability to entertain and amaze the audience and you have made some good marks erstwhile, you must apply for the P-1 today.


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