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What Is P-1 Visa: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of An Entertainment Group?

P-1 Visa is a type of work visa that allows athletes, entertainers, and artists to travel and perform in the United States temporarily according to their skills. This visa can also be given to those who will be cultural exchange visitors or internationally recognized athletes. In order for an individual to apply for this visa, they need to prove they are the best at what they do within their field.

The USCIS has a complex process for determining if an individual is qualified to be considered internationally recognized. They use the vague standard of “having achieved international recognition in their field” as evidence that they are at or above average skill level and well-known outside one country.

The P-1 Visa is divided into two categories:

  1. P-1A Visa: The P-1A Visa was designed to allow athletes and teams who have achieved an internationally recognized level of excellence, such as being on a world championship-winning squad, into the United States.
  2. P-1B Visa: The P-1B classification applies to foreign nationals coming from all over with the intention of performing as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally. In order for this status to be granted, it requires proof such as awards and nominations proving them outstanding in their field.

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Eligibility Criteria And Other Requirements For P-1 Visa

There are various eligibility conditions for a P-1A visa and a P-1B visa.

To be eligible for a P-1A Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Athletes must have competed in a professional sports league in the United States.
  • Athletes must have competed in a college, university, or intercollegiate sports league in the United States.
  • Athletes must have competed or participated in a competition or event at a national or international level.
  • Athletes must have won a national or international award for their outstanding performance.

The following standards must be met for the P-1B Visa or an internationally known entertainment group:

  • The performer or group has experienced a lot of success in terms of ratings, records, video sales, and box office receipts.
  • The entertainer’s or group’s accomplishments have been documented in trade publications or big media.
  • The performer or group has earned recognition from critics, government agencies, or other professionals in the field who can attest to the individual’s or group’s accomplishments.
  • The entertainer or group has a high salary and is well compensated for their work.

Read Also: P-2 Visa Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)

Application Process And Required Documentation

For a P-1A or P-1B visa, applicants cannot start the process on their own. They must be sponsored by an American organization and get approval from USCISUS Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before they can proceed with anything else.

After this happens, it’s necessary to submit DS160 form information along with paying for application fees and scheduling a visa interview appointment in order to move forward.

Following documents must be filed for the P-1A Visa or the athletic visa:

  • Detailed information about the athletic events.
  • Proof of high salary and compensation for work done.
  • An itinerary of events or performances with dates and durations for each event
  • Information about contracts that will be in effect during the stay in America (and visa). (Contracts with U.S sports leagues or teams)
  • Information from employer proving sponsorship. If it’s a group effort, then they must also provide evidence to show that each member is essential to their collective efforts.
  • Evidence of eligibility that the individual athlete or the team is nationally or internationally recognized as outlined in the requirements section

For the P-1B Visa, or for an individual entertainer or entertainment group, must include the following documents:

  • Detailed information about the shows.
  • Proof of high salary and compensation for work done.
  • An itinerary of events or performances with dates and durations for each event
  • Information about contracts that will be in effect during the stay in America (and visa). (Contracts of the group with the sponsors or oral agreement summaries)
  • Information from employer proving sponsorship.
  • If necessary, proof of membership to their respective professional organizations and any other relevant association  (i.e. actors’ association).

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Total Cost and Processing Time For P-1 Visa

Total Cost: The total cost, including legal fees and government charges, of applying for a P-1 visa is $2,315. This includes all application processing costs and nonrefundable filing fees charged by USCIS.

Processing Time: It takes 3 to 6 months to process a P-1 visa. Although the wait is very long, the American institutions provide the option of paying for expedited processing. If you pay an additional $1,225 for premium processing, you will have your visa response in 15 days. Your money is refunded if the US university fails to notify you of your visa status within 15 days.

Read Also: P-3 Visa Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)

How Long Is The P-1 Visa Valid?

Depending on the P-1 visa category, There are different validities and conditions.

As an individual athlete, you will have your visa granted to you for a maximum of 5 years. If that time has passed and the employer petitions with USCIS for another extension on behalf of their employee, they may be able to secure up to 10 more years in America!

For a team of athletes, The visa is initially granted for a maximum of one year. The team’s visa can be renewed for an extra one-year period. The initial validity for critical workers is one year, but they can extend it for another five years for a total of ten years.

For the Entertainment group, entertainers will be granted a visa for a maximum of one year, with one-year extensions permitted until the performance is completed.

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The P-1 visa is an excellent choice for individuals or teams who are coming to the United States temporarily as athletes, members of entertainment groups, and other performing artists. The visa has strict requirements and isn’t available to everyone.

If you want help determining whether you qualify for this type of visa or have any questions about it at all, we can provide guidance on what documentation will be needed and how best to proceed with your application process. Reach out today if you need assistance applying for any type of work permit, Green Card, or other Work Visa USA.

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