P1 Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. What is a P1 entertainment visa?

The P-1 entertainment visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals who are athletes, artists and entertainers to enter into the U.S. for a specific event, competition or performance.

2. Who is eligible for P-1 visa?

An internationally recognized artist, entertainer, or athlete may enter into the U.S. to participate in a performance for a U.S. employer or an international employer working through a U.S. agent. The performance must require a performer of international quality.

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3. What privileges do I enjoy on P-1 visa?

On P-1 visa, you may:

  1. Enter the U.S. and perform for payment or prize money
  2. Engage in part time study
  3. Apply for visas for accompanying essential support personnel
  4. Apply for P-4 visas for your dependents

4. What are the limitations of P-1 visa?

The limitations of P-1 visa are:

  1. P-1 entertainers (though not athletes) must be performing as part of a group and not individually
  2. P-1 visa petitions cannot be approved until the appropriate labor organization is consulted by the USCIS
  3. You may work for multiple employers, however, each employer must file a separate Form I-129
  4. Dependents are allowed to stay in the U.S. with you, but may not work

5. How long can I stay in the U.S. on P-1 work visa?

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.

6. Can I apply for extension of stay on P-1 work visa?

Yes, you may apply for P-1 visa extension:

  1. P-1 individual athlete and essential support personnel may be authorized to extend stay for a period up to five years for a total period of stay not to exceed ten years
  2. Other P-1, P-2, P-3 foreign nationals and support personnel may be authorized to extend stay in increments of one year to continue or complete the same event or activity for which admitted

7. Can I study on P-1 work visa?

Yes, you may engage in part time study on P-1 visa.

8. Are there any travel restrictions on P-1 visa?

No, there are no travel restrictions on P-1 visa. You may travel in and out of the U.S. as long as your visa stamp and status are valid.

9. What are the documents required for P-1 petition for athletes or athletic team?

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

1.Tendered contract with major U.S. sports league or team or one commensurate with international recognition and

2. Any two of the following:

a.Significant participation in a prior season in majors

b.International competition with national team

c.Significant participation in a prior season for U.S. college or university or intercollegiate competitions

d.Written statement from U.S. official in sport about athlete or team’s international recognition

e.Written statement from expert or sport’s media as to international recognition team or individual ranking

f.Significant honor or award in sport

10. What are the documents required for P-1 petition for entertainment groups?

A petition filed by a U.S. employer must be accompanied by:

1.Evidence that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least one year

2.A statement from the employer listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group

3.Evidence that the group has been internationally recognized in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. This may be demonstrated by any three of the following types of documentation with evidence that the group has:

4. Any two of the following:

a.Performed, and will perform, as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements

b.Achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other published material

c.Performed, and will perform, services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials

d.A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by such indicators as ratings; standing in the field; box office receipts; record, cassette, or video sales; and other achievements in the field as reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications

e.Achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field. Such testimonials must be in a form that clearly indicates the author’s authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien’s achievements

f.Either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence

11. What are the documents required for P-1 petition for support personnel?

The P-1 petition for support personnel must be filed in conjunction with the petition for principal P-1 and must be filed with a:

  1. Written consultation with a labor organization in the skill in which the alien will be involved
  2. Statement describing the alien’s prior and current essentiality, critical skills and experience with the principal alien
  3. 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

12. What are the special provisions for certain entertainment groups on P-1 visa?

1.Alien circus personnel:

The one year group membership requirement and the international recognition requirement are not applicable to foreign national circus personnel who perform as part of a circus or circus group, or who constitute an integral and essential part of the performance of such circus or circus group. This is true, provided the P-1 foreign national is coming to join a circus that has been recognized nationally as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time or as part of such a circus

2.Certain nationally known entertainment groups: 

The Director may waive the international recognition requirement in the case of an entertainment group which has been recognized nationally as being outstanding in its discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time in consideration of special circumstances. An example of a special circumstance would be when an entertainment group may find it difficult to demonstrate recognition in more than one country due to such factors as limited access to news media or consequences of geography

3.Waiver of one year relationship in exigent circumstances: 

The Director may waive the one year relationship requirement for a foreign national who, because of illness or unanticipated and exigent circumstances, replaces an essential member of a P-1 entertainment group or an alien who augments the group by performing a critical role. The Department of State is delegated the authority to waive the one year relationship requirement in the case of consular substitutions involving P-1 entertainment groups

13. Can I bring my dependents on P-1 visa?

Yes, you may apply for P-4 visa for your spouse and unmarried children below 21 years.

14. Can my dependents work on P-4 visa?

No, dependents on P-4 visa may not be employed or receive compensation from any U.S. source.

15. Can my dependents study on P-4 visa?

Yes, your dependents may engage in full time study on P-4 visa.

16. Can I apply for adjustment of status on P-1?

Yes, you may apply for adjustment of status and lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the U.S.

Note: This provision does not include essential support personnel.