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P-1 visa category

P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete

The P-1 classification applies to you if you are 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.

Individual Athletes Eligibility Criteria

You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading, or well known in more than one country.

Athletic Teams Eligibility Criteria

You must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Change of employer

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

Eligibility Criteria

At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year. Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.

Special Provisions for Certain Entertainment Groups

Alien circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt from the one year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement.The alien or aliens must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus. Certain nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish that they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained amount of time in consideration of special circumstances.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

For initial stay, time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, cannot exceed 1 year. For extension of stay, increments of up to 1 year is allowed.

Change of employer

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Family of P-1A Visa Holders

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college./p>

Essential Support Personnel

Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 entertainer(s) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel include front office personnel, camera operators, lighting technicians and stage personnel.