What is the P1 Visa?
The P1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign citizens who are athletes or entertainers to come to the US temporarily to take part in an event, competition, or performance.
If you want to apply for the P1 Visa, you can apply for one of the following subcategories:
- P1A visa intended for internationally recognised athletes or an athletic team
- P1B visa intended for individuals or members of an internationally recognised entertainment group.
For groups to be eligible for the P1 Visa, the team has to have at least two members.
If your application for the P1 Visa is successful, you will be able to come to the US to compete in a sporting event, participate in an athletic session, or attend a sports tour. To qualify for the P1 Visa, however, you will have to prove that you have achieved international recognition as an athlete.
What are the requirements for the P1 Visa?
If you are an athlete who has received international recognition and you want to apply for the P1 Visa as part of a sports team, your group has to meet the following criteria:
- The team you are a part of was formed at least one year prior to your visa application.
- At least 75% of the group’s members have had a stable relationship with it for at least one year
- The team has a high degree of national or international recognition.
Keep in mind that those who apply for the P1 Visa to perform with their team, cannot perform individually while in the US.
Essential Support Personnel who play an important role in supporting P1 Visa holders during their performance can also apply for the P1 Visa. Essential Support Personnel includes coaches, trainers, referees, and scouts.
If you are an artist or entertainer and you want to come to the US to take part in an artistic performance or cultural event, you should apply for the P3 Visa instead.
What are the eligibility requirements for the P1A Visa?
Athletes applying for the P1 Visa need to meet at least two of the following requirements:
- Have participated in a major US sports league
- Have participated in a US university or college sports league
- Have participated in a major national or international sports competition
- Have received national or international acclaim
- Have been nationally or internationally ranked in a high position
- Have received a national or international award for their sporting achievements.
What are the eligibility requirements for the P1B Visa?
Entertainers or groups applying for the P1B Visa have to meet the following requirements:
- Have achieved major success in ratings, records, videos, or box office sales
- Have been mentioned and praised by major newspapers or other media outlets
- Have received recognition from critics and government agencies
- Have been receiving high compensation for their work and performances.
How to apply for the P1 Visa?
Regardless of whether you are applying for the P1A or P1B Visa, the application process is similar. To apply for the P1 Visa, you have to be sponsored by a US employer or organisation. The first step of the application requires your US employer to file Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, and submit it to USCIS on your behalf.
The petition has to be filed no more than 6 months before the planned performance in the US. If the US employer is petitioning for a team, one collective form can be submitted.
Once the petition is approved, USCIS will notify your US sponsor and you by sending Form I-797, Notice of Action. After you receive it, you can proceed with your P1 Visa application.
The next step is to file Form DS-160, Online Non-immigrant Visa Application. That is the form that is required for most US visa applications. To complete it, you will have to provide personal information and answer questions about your background and the purpose of your visit to the US. When you finish submitting Form DS-160, make sure to keep the confirmation page as you will have to bring it to your visa interview.
Then, to continue your application, you will have to pay the visa application fee of $190. Remember to save the receipts and include them in your portfolio of evidence.
After you have paid the fee, you can schedule and later attend the visa interview. All individuals between 14 and 79 years old who want to apply for US visas must attend an interview at a US Embassy.
During your interview, you will be asked various questions that serve to verify whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa and whether the information you included in your application is true. You have to answer all questions truthfully because otherwise you might be denied the visa.
What supporting documents do I need to prepare?
When you apply for the P1 Visa, you have to submit a document file that serves to prove your eligibility for the visa. Your portfolio of evidence has to contain these documents:
- A confirmation page showing that you submitted Form DS-160
- A passport valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in the US
- A passport size photograph
- A receipt showing that you paid the visa application fee
- Form I-797 confirming that your petition has been approved
- A letter from a US employer describing what performance and events you will take part in
- A contract with your US sponsor
- Proof that you or your team are nationally or internationally recognised.
Additionally, if you are bringing your dependents to the US with you, you have to include a valid marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children.
If you are not sure what documents to prepare or how to get them, contact our immigration lawyers. They will help you prepare a complete portfolio of evidence.
How long is the processing time of the P1 Visa?
Although the waiting time for the P1 Visa varies, most applications are processed within 3 to 6 months.
If you do not want to wait that long, you can pay an additional fee of $1,225 and use the premium processing service.
Then, you will receive a decision within just 15 days. If USCIS fails to notify you of the outcome of your visa application within these 15 days, you will be reimbursed.
Mistakes in your application or not including some of the required evidence can lead to delays in the processing of your P1 Visa.
That is why seeking the assistance of an immigration lawyer when applying for it is crucial.
How long is the P1 Visa valid for?
Depending on the individual situation of each applicant, there are different validities of the P1 Visa. The initial period you will be granted the P1 Visa for is based on how much time you need to complete the activity in the US.
Nevertheless, the maximum duration of the P1 Visa granted to individual athletes is 5 years. For a team of athletes, the maximum time that the visa is initially valid for is 1 year. Entertainer groups are also given the P1 Visa for an initial maximum period of 1 year.
When this period expires, you have to return to your home country. If your visa’s validity is about to come to an end and you need more time in the US, you can apply for an extension. While individual athletes can receive an extension of up to 5 more years, athletic teams or entertainment groups can apply for extensions in 1-year increments.
Essential personnel can initially remain in the US for up to 1 year but they can apply for an extension of an additional 5 years. The total stay of essential personnel cannot be longer than 10 years, however.
How can IAS help?
If you want to find out more about the P1 Visa or you need help with your application, our highly qualified lawyers are here to assist you. They will answer all your questions and check your visa application to make sure there are no mistakes and all the required information is included. They will also help you prepare a complete portfolio of evidence so you can successfully prove your eligibility for the P1 Visa.
Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of US immigration law and they have helped many clients obtain their US visas. If you hire one of them, you will have access to expert support throughout the visa application process.
For more information about how our immigration lawyers can help, contact us today on +1 844 290 6312.
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The P1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, which means that you can stay in the US only for a limited time. When your visa expires, you are required to return to your home country. When applying for the P1 Visa, you have to prove your intention to leave the US after your visa’s validity ends.
Getting permanent residence in the US with the P1 Visa is difficult but if you are an athlete with exceptional abilities and you have received major international awards for your achievements, you might be eligible for the EB1 Visa. If your application for it is successful, you will receive permanent resident status in the US.
P1 Visa holders are allowed to bring their dependents to the US with them. Dependents refer to your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. To be able to join you, they need to apply for the P4 Visa. They can submit their application at the same time as you or after, once you already have your P1 Visa. If their application is successful, they will be able to stay in the US for as long as your P1 Visa is valid. They will be allowed to study in the US, but not work.
The P1 Visa is primarily intended for athletes and entertainer groups who have been internationally recognised for their talents. P3 Visa, on the other hand, allows artists to come to the US to take part in a culturally unique program. If you are coming to the US on the P3 Visa, you have to prove that the event you want to take part in is culturally unique. If you receive the P1 Visa as a member of an entertainer group, there is no such requirement and you can attend any performance or event you wish.
If your application for the P1 Visa is successful, you will be able to come to the US to perform and receive money for it. You will also be able to engage in part-time study during your stay. Another advantage of the P1 Visa is that you can bring your dependents with you provided that they meet the eligibility criteria and apply for the P4 Visa for the dependents of P1 Visa holders.