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The P-1 visa allows foreign athletes or entertainers to temporarily work in the U.S. in a specific competition, event, or performance, individually or as part of a group or team.

You may temporarily work in the U.S. as an athlete or entertainer under the P-1 visa. The P-1 visa can be dividedP-1 visa into two categories—P-1A or P-1B.

The P-1A visa category applies to internationally recognized athletes coming to the U.S. temporarily (individually or as a team) to perform at a specific athletic competition, at an internationally recognized level of performance.

The P-1B visa category applies to foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a substantial period of time.

You may also be able to bring your assistant or other essential support staff to the U.S. under the P-2 visa.

p-1 visa         Requirements for the P-1 Visa

  •     Evidence that the artist, athlete, or entertainer is internationally recognized.
  •     A formal job offer letter or contract specifying the dates for which work authorization is requested and identifying specific events, performances, competitions or engagements the P visa holder will be performing in.
  • A written advisory opinion from a labor organization that describes an individual’s abilities and achievements in their field.
                  • For entertainment groups, at least 75% of the members of the group must have had a substantial relationship with the group for at least one year.
                  • For athletes, a contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or comparable evidence

Athletes who cannot meet the “extraordinary ability standard” required for an O-1 visa may petition for a P-1 visa. To qualify for a P-1 visa the athlete must show that he is internationally recognized and is coming to the U.S. to participate in a league or event with a distinguished reputation. Athletes under contract with the NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NFL only need to establish that they have a major league contract to qualify for a P-1 visa.

What are the limitations on P-1 Visa

  • P-1 entertainers (though not athletes) must be performing as part of a group and not individually
  • You may work for multiple employers, however, each employer must file a separate Form I-129. 
  • Dependents are allowed to stay in the U.S. with you, but may not work


Call immigration attorney Irina Vinogradsky at 202-580-4559 to get help with your P-1 visa.

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