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US – P1 Visa (Internationally Recognized Athlete)

US - P1 Visa (Internationally Recognized Athlete)

International athletes who wish to enter the U.S. can apply for a P1 Visa.

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What is a P1 Visa?

The P-1 Visa is targeted at nationally and internationally recognized athletes and performers.

To be applicable, you must meet specific requirements, such as having a sponsor and staying the U.S. temporarily.

The P Visa status admits two different tiers:

  • P1A Visa, for internationally recognized athletes or athletic teams;
  • P1B Visa, for individuals or members of entertainment groups.
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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 members of a team.

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 wish to take part in unpaid recreational activities, you should apply for a B2 Tourist Visa.

How to apply for a 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.

Besides the main petition form, the USCIS requires to review 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.

What are the P-1A Visa requirements?

Athletes applying for a P1A visa must fulfill at least two of the following conditions:

  • Have participated in a major or university U.S. sports league;
  • Have taken part in a national or international competition;
  • Have obtained a recognized award;
  • Have gained significant appraisal.

What are the P-1B Visa requirements?

If you are applying for a P1B Visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The group 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’s activity must be nationally or internationally recognized;
  • The team must have a high degree of recognition, regardless of the individual achievements of its members.

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.
After that, you can attend your interview. Although you can schedule it at any time, you may need to wait a few weeks before your turn.

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. Nevertheless, you can apply for an increment of up to 5 more years.

Groups and support personnel can stay in the U.S. for up to 1 years. They can apply for a P1 Visa renewal, but this increment is still limited to up to 1 year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 can 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.