P-1 Visa (Internationally Recognized Athletes/Entertainers)

photoA9_Artists The P-1 entertainment visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals who are athletes, artists and entertainers to enter into the U.S. for a specific event, competition or performance. The P-1 Visa classifications cover individuals who compete at an internationally recognized level.

Frequently Asked Questions about P-1 Visas

What are the Requirements for a P-1 Visa?

The following requirements must be fulfilled in order to qualify for a P-1 visa.

  • The applicant must be a recognized athlete or entertainer participating in an event of international standing.
  • The applicant must provide evidence of legal contracts with a major U.S. sports league, or organization.
  • In addition, the P-1 visa petitioner must submit the proof of at least of the two following:
    • Participation in U.S. major sports league in prior seasons;
    • Participation in international competitions with a national team;
    • Written statement from the sports media or a recognized expert;
    • Significant participation in a prior U.S. major league season.

What are the Advantages of a P-1 Visa?

The P-1 Visa holder can:

  • Travel unrestricted.
  • Engage in part time study.
  • Apply for adjustment of status and lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Enter the U.S. and perform for payment or prize money.
  • Apply for visas for accompanying essential support personnel and dependents.

What are the Limitations of a P-1 Visa?

  • P-1 visa applications will be approved only when the appropriate U.S. sports league or organization is consulted by the USCIS.
  • The dependents of P-1 visa are not permitted to work during their stay in the U.S. If the dependents wish to work in the U.S., they have to apply for a work visa.
  • P-1 entertainers (though not athletes) must be performing as part of a group and not individually.

How Long can Someone Stay in the U.S. on a P-1 Work Visa?

A person may be allowed to stay in the U.S. for up to five years with extensions not to exceed a total stay of ten years.

P-2 Visa (Artists or Entertainers)

The P-2 visa classification is designated for artists or entertainers, either an individual or group, who wish to enter into the U.S. temporarily as part of a reciprocal exchange program. There should be two organizations involved in this exchange program: an organization in the United States, and one abroad that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.

Necessary documentation includes formal reciprocal exchange agreements, descriptions of the exchange program and evidence of qualifying skills.


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