USA and the UK
What is a P1 Visa?
The P-1 Visa is targeted at nationally and internationally recognized athletes and performers. It is a non-immigrant visa type that was created with the intention of allowing overseas athletes to participate in U.S athletic programs with the intention to promote themselves and/or their sport. This visa is also applicable to individual entertainers or groups for the purposes of entering the U.S to participate in entertainment programs, competitions, or other activities.
To be eligible, you must meet specific requirements, such as having a sponsor and staying in the U.S. temporarily.
The P Visa status admits two different categories:
- P1A Visa, for internationally recognized athletes or an athletic team
- P1B Visa, for individuals or members of an entertainment group
This visa is granted for a maximum initial period of 5 years, but this can vary depending on individual circumstances. You can also extend this visa type but keep in mind that the maximum amount of time someone can spend in the U.S under this visa is 10 years.
You can use a P1 visa to enter the U.S to perform with an entertainment group, enter an athletic competition and or participate in any other activity related to your field. In addition, you may also partake in part-time study while in the United States under this visa.
Who is eligible for a P1 Visa?
The P1 visa is available to professionals working in the entertainment or sports industry, either as individuals or as members of a team who have international recognition.
Essential Support Personnel who have a role in the performance of a P-1 Visa holder may also be eligible for this permit. This category includes coaches, trainers, and other team officials. Entertainers and cultural performers are not eligible for this visa and should submit a P3 Visa form.
A P1 Visa holder can participate in both entertainment and sports events. However, those who are in a team cannot perform individually while in the U.S.
If you are applying for a P1 Visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- The group or team must have been formed at least one year before the application
- At least 75% of the members of the team must have had a stable relationship with the group for at least one year
- The group or team activity must be nationally or internationally recognized
- The group or team must have a high degree of recognition, regardless of the individual achievements of its members
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the P1 Visa has two different categories (P1A and P1B) and therefore the requirements for each differ.
What are the requirements for the P-1A Visa?
For an athlete to qualify for a P1 Visa under the P1A category, they must meet at least two of the following conditions:
- Have participated in a major U.S sports league
- Have participated in a U.S college, university, or intercollegiate sports league
- Have participated in a national or international level competition or event
- Have been nationally or internationally ranked in a high position
- Have obtained a national or international award for their excellence
What are the requirements for a P-1B Visa?
Entertainers applying under the P1B category must meet the following conditions:
- Have had major success in ratings, records, videos sales, or box offices sales
- Have achievements outlined in trade journals or major newspapers
- Have recognition from critics, government agencies, or other field experts who can testify to the individual’s or group’s achievements
- Have a high salary and good compensation from the activities that they do
How to apply for a P-1 Visa?
P-1 Visa applicants need to be sponsored by a U.S. employer or organization. Your sponsor must file a Form I-129 no more than 6 months before the scheduled performance. In the case of groups, employers can submit either a joint application or an individual one for each member.
In addition to the main petition form, the USCIS requires review of the following documents:
- Consultation with an accredited labor organization
- The itinerary of the event
- Evidence of the group’s national or international reputation
- In the case of groups, proof that they have been established at least 1 year before
If your petition is approved, you can submit a Form DS-160. Afterwards, you need to attend an interview to explain the rationale of your trip to the U.S.
How long does it take to get a P1 Visa?
The USCIS may need between 2 to 8 weeks to process the Form I-129 for your P1 Visa. If your petition is approved, you can immediately submit your DS-160 Form. Afterwards, you can attend your interview. Although you can schedule it at any time, you probably will need to wait a few weeks before your appointment.
Usually, the P1 Visa processing time may take between 3 to 6 months. If needed, you can pay for a premium processing time. This allows you to get your answer within 15 working days.
How long can you stay in the U.S. on a P1 Visa?
Unlike other permits, the P1 Visa does not have a fixed authorized stay. Your initial allowed period depends on the time needed to complete your project in the U.S.
You cannot remain in the country for more than 5 years. However, if needed, you can apply for an extention of up to 5 more years.
Individual athletes may be granted a P1 Visa for a 5 year stay. However, for athletic teams, the maximum validity initially granted is 1 year, which can be extended in 1 year increments. Entertainers or entertainment groups may also be granted a P1 Visa for a maximum of 1 year and can apply for extensions in 1 year increments.
Essential personnel can stay in the U.S. for up to 1 year and can apply for an extension for an additional 5 years, with a maximum stay of 10 years.
How can IAS help?
The Immigration Advice Service is a law firm that provides assistance with a wide range of immigration issues. We have lawyers based in several areas across the United States and can also offer all of our services remotely. If you need help with your P1 Visa application, our attorneys are here for you.
One of our caseworkers can speak to you about your situation and assess your eligibility for the P1 Visa. If eligible, your caseworker can also support you throughout the application process. They will help your employer to fill in Form I-129 and can also assist you with completing your DS-160 Form.
One of the most important aspects of the visa application is providing proof that you can meet the relevant P-1A or P-1B requirements. You lawyer will work with you to gather all the documents and evidence that you will need to do this.
For more information about how our lawyers can help you to apply for a P1 Visa, get in touch today by calling +1 844 290 6312.
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The total cost of a P1 Visa may vary depending on your local U.S. Consulate or Embassy. It includes:
- F-129 filing fee ($460);
- DS-160 Application form fee ($190);
- Premium processing time fee, if needed ($1,225).
The P1 Visa is a nonimmigrant permit, meaning you must declare your intention to return to your home when it expires.
This makes it difficult to obtain a Green Card under this visa category. However, it is not impossible to change your status from a P1 Visa to a Green Card. You may follow a few different immigration routes to seek permanent residence in the U.S.
You may apply to change your status to an H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa or any other immigrant permit. Otherwise, you can petition for an EB-1 Green Card if you can demonstrate you have extraordinary ability.
Your attorney can advise you on the best plan to follow to change your immigration status.
Our team of qualified immigration lawyers is ready to help you with every step of the way towards your P1 Visa. We will:
- Approve and check your supporting documents;
- Liaise with your sponsor in the U.S.;
- If the case of group applications, we offer custom-made advice for each member;
- Follow your application process from start to end.
Call us on +1844 290 6312 or use our contact form to arrange the first meeting with your immigration lawyer.
P1 Visa holders are eligible to bring their family members to the United States with them as dependents. The family members that qualify as dependents include the spouse and unmarried children of the visa applicant.
In order for your family member to join you in the US, they will need to apply for a P-4 visa. They must apply either at the same time or after your initial application.