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P Visa for Athletes, Entertainment Groups, and Artists

Law Offices of Yu & Associates


What is the P-1 Athlete Visa?

The P-1 athlete classification applies to an alien 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.

How Do I Apply for a P-1 Athlete Visa?

The athlete's U.S. employer should submit a petition to USCIS with the following documents:

  1. A written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization;
  2. A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport;
  3. Copies of evidence of at least two of the following:
    • Significant participation in a U.S. major sports league in prior seasons;
    • Participation in international competition with a national team;
    • Significant participation in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition;
    • A written statement from an official of the governing body of the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
    • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
    • Evidence of the individual's or team's ranking, if the sport has international rankings; or
    • Evidence that the alien or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.

What is the P-1 Entertainment Group Visa?

The P-1 entertainment group visa is for aliens coming to the U.S. temporarily to 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. Each member must have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group (ordinarily for at least one year) and/or provide functions integral to the group's performance.

How Do I Apply for a P-1 Visa for an Artist or Entertainment Group?

The U.S. employer should submit an application to USCIS along with the following:

  1. A written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization;
  2. A statement that the group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year;
  3. Evidence that the group has internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of the group's receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field, or evidence of at least 3 of the following:
    • The group has 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;
    • The group has 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;
    • The group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
    • The group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications;
    • The alien has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which the alien is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author's authority, expertise and knowledge of the alien's achievements; or
    • The group has commanded 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.

What is the P-2 Artistic Exchange Visa?

The P-2 classification applies to an alien coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and an organization in another country.

How Do I Apply for a P-2 Visa?

The sponsoring organization, an employer in the U.S., or a U.S. labor organization should submit an application with the following:

  1. A written consultation with an appropriate labor organization;
  2. A copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the U.S. organization(s) sponsoring the alien and the organization(s) in the foreign country which will receive the U.S. artist or entertainer;
  3. A statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of U.S. artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which classification is sought;
  4. Evidence that the alien and the U.S. artist or entertainer subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement are artists with comparable skills and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar;
  5. Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the U.S. was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers.

What is the P-3 Culturally Unique Artists Visa Category?

The P-3 classification applies to aliens coming temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.

How Do I Apply for a P-3 Visa?

The sponsoring organization or employer in the U.S. should file a petition along with:

  1. A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization;
  2. Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of the alien's or group's skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert including the basis of his or her knowledge of the aliení»s or groupí»s skills;
  3. Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events, and;
  4. Documentation that the performance of the alien or group is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials.

Which Support Personnel of Principal P Visa Holders Can Come to the U.S.?

Support personnel who are highly skilled aliens coming temporarily as an essential and integral part of the competition or performance of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 can accompany the principal P visa holder to the US. These support personnel must perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance or services of the athlete or entertainer.

How Do I Apply for P Visas for Support Personnel?

The U.S. employer or sponsor must file the petition for accompanying support personnel in conjunction with the petition for the principal P visa applicant with the following:

  1. A written consultation with a labor organization in the skill in which the alien will be involved;
  2. A statement describing the alien's prior and current essentiality, critical skills and experience with the principal alien;
  3. A 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.

Can P Visa Holders Accept Employment While in the U.S.?

No, they cannot accept employment during their stay in the U.S.

Can the Dependents of P Visa Holders Come to the U.S.?

Yes, the spouse and unmarried children under age 21 of P-1/P-2/P-3 visa holders can obtain P-4 visas. P-4 visa holders can study full-time or part-time in the U.S. but are not eligible to work in the U.S.

How Long Can P Visa Holders Stay in the U.S.?

A P-1 individual athlete can stay in the US for a period of time up to five years and a P-1 athletic team can stay up to one year. The P-2 or P-3 visa is usually valid for the duration needed to complete the event, activity or performance, but may not exceed one year.

 

The above is intended as a general introduction and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion for your particular case. Please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates with any specific questions. Tel: (301) 838-8986, Email: syu@yulegal.com, Address: 110 N Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850.



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