P-1 Athletes and Group Entertainers
P-1 visa classification is available to foreign nationals who wish to come to
the U.S. temporarily to: 1) perform as an athlete, individually or as part of a group
or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance; or 2) perform as
a member of a foreign-based entertainment group that has been recognized internationally
as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.
Please note: solo musicians or singers are not eligible for P visas;
they must apply for O-1 visas.
P-1 athlete classification requires that the foreign athlete or team
be internationally recognized, and be coming to the U.S. to compete in athletic competitions
which have distinguished reputations and which require participation by athletes
or teams with international reputations. P-1 entertainment group classification
requires that the foreign group have enjoyed international recognition for sustained
and substantial period of time, and that 75% of the group members have had sustained
and substantial relationship with the group for at least one year. In addition, an
advisory statement from a U.S. peer group or labor organization in the respective
area of international renown, confirming that such organization does not object to
the P-1 classification.
This classification does require an approved petition for employment. Prior to
the foreign athlete or group entertainer applying for a P-1 visa, the U.S. employer
or agent must obtain petition approval from the USCIS. If the foreign athlete or
group entertainer is outside of the U.S., he or she must apply directly at the nearest
U.S. Embassy or Consulate. (Please note: in some cases, the applicant must apply
at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country. See the Visa
Issuance section for more details.) If the foreign athlete or group entertainer
is inside the U.S. and wishes to change to or extend his, her or their P-1 Non-immigrant
visa status, a petition and request to extend the P-1 status must be made to the
USCIS in connection with the underlying petition for employment.
Individual athletes may be initially admitted to the U.S. or granted a change
of status to P-1 visa classification for up to five years with the option to extend
for a total of ten years by filing a timely petition for extension of stay with the
USCIS. Athletic groups and entertainment groups may be initially admitted to the
U.S. in P-1 visa classification for increments of 1 year at a time. As is the case
with all Non-immigrant visa classifications, the duration for which one is allowed
to remain in the U.S. in P-1 status is governed by the expiration date indicated
on the most recently issued I-94 card, except in cases where a non-frivolous extension
of stay request has been timely filed. (See How do I know if
I am lawfully present in the U.S.? in the FAQ section for more details.)
P-1 Non-immigrant status is an employer or agent-specific work authorized status
pursuant to the terms and conditions of the approved petition on which P-1 status
A foreign national on this visa may be eligible to apply for permanent residency
based on extraordinary ability. Please click here
for information on employment immigration.
An P-1 Non-immigrant visa holder may simultaneously pursue permanent residency
without negatively impacting his or her continued eligibility for P-1 Non-immigrant
visa status. Accordingly, the filing of a labor certification application, I-140
immigrant visa petition or I-485 adjustment of status application is not a basis
for denying a change of status to, extension of stay in, or visa for P-1 status.
This protective concept is known as the "dual intent doctrine" and is recognized
under immigration laws for several Non-immigrant visa classifications, including
The spouse and minor children of P-1 visa holders may apply for derivative P-4
visa classification in order to accompany or follow to join the principal visa holder
(at the consulate) or to remain in the U.S. with the principal visa holder (through
a change of status application with the US CIS). P-4 status is conditioned on maintenance
of valid P-1 status by the principal visa holder and dependent eligibility, and does
not confer employment authorization.