P-1 for Athletes & Entertainers

The P classification is for athletes, entertainers, and artists who seek to temporarily visit the United States for a specific event, competition, or performance.
P Visa Petition Requirement
P-1 Visas for Athletes and Performers

The Creating Opportunities for Minor League Professionals, Entertainers, and Teams through Legal Entry (COMPETE) Act of 2006 expanded the P-1 nonimmigrant classification to include certain minor league athletes and ice skaters that were not previously admissible under the P-1 category.

The following athletes and performers may qualify for a P-1 visa

P-1 athletes are admitted for a period of up to five years with one extension up to five years. P-1 athletes may pursue permanent residency and file for adjustment of status

P-1 Visas for an Entertainment Group

In addition to applying to certain athletes, the P-1 classification applies to persons who seek to come to the United States to perform as a member of an entertainment group that is internationally recognized as outstanding in its area. 

A person applying for a P-1 visa as a member of an entertainment group must have

A group is internationally recognized if 
It has "a high level of achievement … evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent such achievement is renown leading or well-known in more than country. 
Solo artists generally must apply for an O-1 visa. However, if a solo artist performs with backup singers and musicians, the act may be classified as a group, as long as 75 percent of its members have been together for at least one year.

P-2 Visas for Artistic Exchange
P-3 Visas for Culturally Unique Programs

The P-3 classification is for artists or entertainers who perform, individually or as a group, and seek to come to the United States to develop, interpret, represent, coach, or teach a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical or artistic performance or presentation. 
P-3 visas are issued for the time necessary to complete the event, for up to one year. Extensions are available for a similar period.

Support Personnel for P Visa Holders

Persons coming to the United States to work as support personnel for P-1 athletes, entertainers, or artists are also given P-1 visas. Similarly, support personnel are allowed to accompany principal P-2 beneficiaries and are given P-2 status. 
A person qualifies as support personnel if "he or she performs support services which cannot be readily performed by a United States worker and which are essential to the successful performance of services." 

When applying for P-1 or P-2 status, support personnel must submit an opinion from a labor organization explaining the essential skill of the support personnel, a statement explaining why the support personnel is essential and describing the support personnel’s skills and prior experience with the principal P beneficiary, and a copy of the written contract for the support personnel’s services or a written summary of any oral contract.

Family Members: Spouses and unmarried children under 21 are eligible to accompany P visa holders in P-4 status. Persons with P-4 status are admitted for the same period as the principal P beneficiary. Persons with P-4 status may study but not work in the United States.

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