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(Internationally Recognized Athletes/Entertainers)
The P-1 entertainment visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals who are athletes, artists and entertainers to enter into the U.S. for a specific event, competition or performance. The P-1 Visa classifications cover individuals who compete at an internationally recognized level.
Requirements for a P-1 Visa
The applicant must be a recognized athlete or entertainer participating in an event of international standing. The applicant must provide evidence of legal contracts with a major U.S. sports league, or organization.
Advantages of a P-1 Visa
The P-1 Visa holder can:
- Travel unrestricted.
- Engage in part time study.
- Apply for adjustment of status and lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the U.S.
- Enter the U.S. and perform for payment or prize money.
Length of a P-1 Work Visa
A person 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.
Essential support personnel
Essential support personnel are eligible for P-1S classification if they are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 nonimmigrant and perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers, broadcasters, referees, linesmen, umpires, and interpreters.
The petitioner must file a separate Form I-129 for essential support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:
- A consultation from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the essential support person’s skill;
- A statement describing the essential support person’s prior and current essentiality, critical skills, and experience with the P-1 athlete or team (unless coming to work in a Major League Sport); and
- A copy of a written contract between the employer and the essential support personnel or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the essential support personnel will be employed.
Change of Employer
If you are a professional P-1 athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, your employment authorization will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization must file a new Form I-129 for P-1 nonimmigrant classification.
In all other situations, you may change employers, but the new employer, your agent, or your sponsor must first file a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not start working for the new employer until USCIS has approved the new Form I-129.
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