P1 Visa: Musicians, Athletes and Artists

What is the P-1 Visa?

The P1 visa is a non-resident visa designated for entertainers, circus artists, and athletes who are coming to the US temporarily to perform at a specific competition or event. An athlete who wishes to remain in the US for a longer period of time should apply for an O1 visa.

Within the P Visa category there are three different classifications:

P-1 Visa: A Classification are accorded to individual athletes and group entertainers, as well as their essential support personnel, who have accomplished international notoriety over a sustained period of time, (subject to the special regulatory provisions which provide a limited exception for entertainment groups that have managed to garner sustained national notoriety as opposed to international notoriety where there might be limited access to news media or consequences of geography that would make it difficult to acquire international recognition, (8 CFR §214.2(p)(4)(iii)(C)(2)).

The P-2 Visa: is issued to artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, as well as their essential support personnel, who will be performing under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the United States, which may include a management organization, and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states and which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers, or groups of artists and entertainers.

The P-3 classification may be accorded to artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, as well as their essential support personnel, coming to the United States for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance presentation.

The P-4 Classification is issued to immediate relatives of P1, P-2, and P-3 Visa holders who are accompanying or following to join the principal alien, but they are not afforded any right to be employed while in the United States while holding such visa status.

Entertainers, artists, and athletes who wish to qualify for the visa must show two of the following:

  • A written consultation by an appropriate labor organization;
  • Significant participation in a prior season with a major United States sports league;
  • Participation in international competition with a national team;
  • Significant participation in a prior season for a US 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;
  • The individual or team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings; or
  • The alien or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.
  • Spouses and children of the P1 visa holder may obtain a P4 visa to enter and remain in the US. The P4 visa holder may attend school but if he or she wishes to work, he or she must change his or her status to obtain a work visa.

For whom is a P1 Visa appropriate?

Internationally recognized athletes or athletic teams entering the US to participate in an event of international standing
Entertainers and entertainment companies recognized internationally as outstanding to tour the US or participate in events distinguished circus artists who wish to work in the US.

“Helping you to obtain the right visa, when you need it”

When you contact our firm for an initial consultation, we will take the time to educate and explain the immigration laws, regulations and the visa application procedures for your particular case. As a client, you will receive personal attention and work directly with an experienced attorney who will be able to answer any questions you have and keep you informed and aware of new developments as your case moves forward.

For all of your legal immigration needs, contact the immigration lawyers of Muston & Jack, P.C., at our San Francisco, San Jose or Pasadena California law offices to schedule an initial consultation.

  • Gabriel Jack helped us apply for an O-1 Visa, when we needed to change visa status and we got it! The documentation required for an O-1 visa is extensive but we managed to complete everything together with Gabriel in about 4 weeks. Gabriel is very professional and knows what is important and he is also easy to talk to and helpful. We are very pleased and will use Gabriel again should there be a need.
    Counrty of Origin Thank you -
  • Gabriel did a good job. He was easy to deal with, returned calls and did what he said he would – nice change from some lawyers I’ve dealt with. My E3 was approved with no trouble at all…and he’s a really nice person, which is a good bonus. Thanks Gabe!!
    Counrty of Origin Many Thanks! -
  • We had previously shopped around for an immigration lawyer, but we went with Gabriel. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and thorough. He was able to help us to prepare a very detailed interview packet, and we got our E2 visa at the end of the interview.
    Counrty of Origin Successful E2 Visa -
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