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P : Entertainers & Athletes

The P1 entertainment visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals who are internationally recognized athletes, artists and entertainers to enter into the U.S. for a specific event, competition or performance. They should be brought for a U.S. employer or an international employer working through a U.S. agent. The performance must require a performer of international quality. Importantly enough, individual athletes may be admitted to US as P-1 aliens, but not individual entertainers.

Two preliminary steps must be taken by the employer before an alien worker can obtain a P visa: 1) obtaining an advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization or show that an appropriate peer group, labor organization, or management organization does not exist; and 2) obtaining an approval from USCIS of the petition.

P-1 Athletes/athletic teams

The P-1 classification applies to an alien coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.

Petition Document Requirements

The petition filed by a U.S. employer should include:

  • A written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization:
  • Tendered contract with major U.S. sports league or team or one commensurate with international recognition and
  • Any two of the following:
    • Significant participation in a prior season with a major United States sports league;
    • Participation in international competition with a national team;
    • Significant participation in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition
    • A written statement from an official of the governing body of the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
    • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
    • Significant honor or award in sport.

P-1 Entertainment Group

The entertainment group must be coming to the U.S. to participate in entertainment events, and must have achieved international recognition for a substantial and sustained period (ordinarily for at least one year) and/or provide functions integral to the group's performance. One year requirement can be waived under specific circumstances.

Petition Document Requirements

The petition should be filed by a U.S. employer with proof that the proposed services in the U.S. require an internationally recognized entertainment group with the following documents:

  • A written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization;
  • A statement that the group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year;
  • Your group received significant international awards or prizes, or nominations for its outstanding achievements , or evidence of at least 3 of the following:
    • It has performed, or will be performing, as a starring or leading entertainment group in events with distinguished reputation ;
    • It has received international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievements;
    • It has performed and will be performing services as a leading or starring group for organizations or establishments with a distinguished reputation
    • It has had major commercial or critically acclaimed successes
    • It is highly recognized, for its achievements, by organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts
    • It has commanded or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration comparable to others similarly situated

There are certain exceptions to international recognition requirement.

P-2 Artistic Exchange

The P-2 classification applies to an alien coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a government recognized reciprocal exchange program.

Petition Document Requirements

The petition must be filed by the sponsoring organization, an employer in the U.S., or the U.S. labor organization that negotiated the agreement with:

  • A written consultation by an appropriate labor organization;
  • Formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the U.S. sponsors, the alien and foreign organization(s);
  • A statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange;
  • Evidence that an appropriate U.S. labor organization was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and alien(s);
  • Evidence that an appropriate U.S. labor organization was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers.

P-3 Culturally Unique Artists

The P-3 classification applies to aliens coming temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.

Petition Document Requirements

The petition should be filed by the sponsoring organization or employer in the U.S. with:

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization;
  • Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of the alien's or group's skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert including the basis of his or her knowledge of the alien's or group's skills or both of the following:
  • Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events, and;
  • Evidence that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events.

P-1, 2, or 3 (Accompanying Support Personnel)

This category applies to accompanying support personnel who are highly skilled aliens coming temporarily as an essential and integral part of the competition or performance of a P-1, P-2, or P-3. Essential support personnel must perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance or services of the athlete or entertainer.

Petition Document Requirements

The petition must be filed in conjunction with the petition for a P alien by a U.S. employer and must be filed with:

  • A written consultation with a labor organization in the skill in which the alien will be involved;
  • A statement describing the alien's prior and current essentiality, critical skills and experience with the principal alien;
  • A copy of any written contract between the employer and the alien or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the alien will be employed.

Dependents

You can bring your spouse and unmarried children below 21 years on a P-4 visa. They can not be employed in the U.S., but are authorized to engage in a full time study.

Extensions and Visa Renewals

You 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. The alien should be engaging in the same activity specified in the original petition where an additional time is required to complete the business.