The P1 visa is a specialty visa that allows outstanding athletes or other entertainers the chance to visit the U.S. to perform. With a P1 visa, athletes and their support staff are able to perform either individually at a specific athletic competition or as part of a group or team. In addition to participating in athletic seasons, aliens can temporarily enter the U.S. for tours, entertainment events, tournaments, and other types of projects. The P1 visa is divided into two types of visas. The P1-A visa is for internationally-recognized athletic teams or individual athletes. The P1-B visa is for individuals or members of internationally-recognized entertainment groups. To qualify for a P1 visa, foreign athletes must meet certain conditions. P1 visa requirements include the following:
P1 Visa Requirements For Athletes
Foreign athletes, as well as their coaches and other members of their support team, may be eligible for P1 visas if they meet certain qualifications. To qualify for a P1 visa, an athletic team must be internationally-recognized in the specific sport in which they are trying to petition a foreign athlete. If an individual wants to come to the U.S. to compete in sports without a team, the person must prove that they are internationally-recognized based on their achievements and/or reputation.
According to the USCIS, international recognition is defined as having a high level of achievement in a certain field that is evidenced by a certain level of skill and recognition above and beyond the norm. The extent of the person’s achievement must be leading, renowned, or well-known in at least two countries. P1 visas may also be granted to members of internationally-recognized foreign sports teams. If the team qualifies, each member will receive a P1 visa. However, P1 visa holders are not able to perform services that are separate from his or her athletic team.
As the P1 visa is separated into two types of visas, P1-A and P1-B, there are unique requirements for each. If you are an athlete applying for a P1 visa, a minimum of two of these conditions must be filled:
- The athlete must have participated in a major sports league in the U.S.
- The athlete must have participated in a university, college, or intercollegiate sports league in the U.S.
- The athlete must have participated in an international or national event or competition.
- The athlete must have internationally or nationally ranked in a high position.
- The athlete must have acquired an international or national award for their excellence.
Documentation Needed For P1 Visa Petition
When applying for a P1 visa, you will need to submit certain documents. These P1 visa requirements help ensure that the foreign athlete is coming to the U.S. to perform and not for any other reason. The documentation needed for a P1 visa petition include:
- A tendered contract with a major sports league or team in the U.S., or in an individual sport commensurate that has international recognition in that specific sport.
- Evidence from at least two of the following sources:
- Participation in a national team at an international level.
- Participation in a major U.S. sports league in a prior season. This does not include athletes who play in the “minor” leagues.
- Participation for a U.S. university or college in intercollegiate competition.
- Evidence that the foreign athlete or athletic team is highly ranked.
- Written statement from a recognized industry professional, such as a member of the sports media, that states how the athlete or athletic team is internationally-recognized.
- Evidence that the athlete or athletic team has earned a significant reward or honor for performance in a sport.
You will also have to meet other requirements before a P1 visa can be issued. First, you will need to fill in Form DS-160, Online Non-immigrant Visa Application. This is a standard form for non-immigrant visa applicants. Once submitted, you should receive a confirmation page along with a code that you will need to keep safe with your other documents.
You will also be responsible for paying an application fee of $190. Other fees may also apply based on the relationship between the U.S. and your country. These fees are known as visa issuance fees and can vary from country to country. Once all fees have been paid, you can continue on with the rest of the P1 visa process which typically involves scheduling and attending a visa interview.
Get Help Applying For A P1 Visa From An Expert
On average, the P1 visa has a processing time that ranges from 3 to 6 months. This can be a long wait only to find out that you made an error during the application process. To ensure that does not happen, it is important to consult with a professional about your case. To learn more about P1 visa requirements or how to apply for a P1 visa, reach out to the experienced immigration attorneys at Johnson & Masumi today.