Visas for Performing Entertainers and Athletes

Visas for Performing Entertainers and Athletes

P visas are temporary worker visas which allow athletes and entertainers a short-term visa for an opportunity to work in the United States for a local employer. There are different types of P visas available depending on your situation.

P-1A Visa

The P-1A athlete visa applies to those who are entering the United States temporarily to perform in an athletic competition. Qualifying standards for those seeking P-1A visas include:

Internationally Recognized Athlete

Individuals competing at an internationally recognized athletic level of performance are eligible for a P-1A Visa. You must be coming to the U.S. to compete at a specific event and be a high-achieving athlete with international recognition and skill.

Internationally Recognized Athletic Team

People who are part of a team or group at an internationally recognized level and coming to the U.S. to compete in a specific event are eligible for a P-1A Visa. The team must also have a distinguished reputation and be well-known in multiple countries.

Professional Athletes

A professional athlete coming to the United States to be employed by a team that is a member of an association with combined revenues of over $10 million per year or by any minor league team affiliate are eligible for a P-1A Visa.

Amateur Athletes or Coaches

Those coming to the United States as an athlete or to coach a team or franchise are eligible for P-1A visas. They must meet specific requirements including:

  • The association or league has 15 or more teams
  • Participation in the league takes place under the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
  • The athlete is earning a scholarship to play or playing sport(s) at specific college or university

For more detailed information about the P-1A visa, visit the USCIS website.

P-1B Visa

The P-1B visa is for nonimmigrant members of internationally recognized entertainment groups. The P-1B visa is very similar to the P-1A visa, it is just set aside for those in groups such as circus performers and personnel, and other forms of entertainment.

P-2 Visa

A P-2 Visa is intended for individual performers who are part of a group temporarily entering the United States to perform in an exchange program. In order to qualify for this visa, you and your group will need to possess the skills which compare to those of competing United States entertainers.

In order to qualify for a P-2 visa, the sponsoring organization in the U.S. must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

P-3 Visa

A P-3 Visa is intended for those entering the United States to temporarily perform, coach, or teach as an artist or entertainer – individually or as part of a group. Your purpose for coming to the U.S. must include one of the following:

  • Development, interpretation, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional artistic performance
  • You are entering the U.S. to participate in a cultural event that will further develop your art form

P Visa Application Process

To apply for a P visa, you must fill out and submit Form I-129. This form is a petition for a nonimmigrant worker to enter the United States for temporary work with supporting documentation. Forms you may need to support your petition include:

  • A written explanation from corresponding labor organization
  • An explanation of event(s) or activities as well as a copy of the itinerary for said event
  • Copy of the contract between petitioner and beneficiary or summary of terms for employment
  • Statement from employing party with dates for each member’s necessary employment
  • Evidence that group or organization is internationally recognized

Once your petition is approved, you can apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate. For an extension of stay, you can apply for one year extensions with the USCIS by submitting Form I-539.

How Long Does a P Visa Last?

While the term of the visa is typically subject to a contract of planned performance or competition, the maximum initial allowance for P visas is 5 years.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., we provide individuals, families, and employers the legal representation they need to navigate the process of obtaining temporary worker visas and nonimmigrant visas such as the P visa. Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.

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