P-1 VISA: INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ATHLETES
The P-1 classification to foreign athletes coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance. Their qualified dependents will get P-4 status and cannot work, but may attend school or college.
Individual Athletes must be coming to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which they are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.
Athletic Teams must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport and the event must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.
- A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
- A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport
- An explanation of the event and itinerary
- Documentation of at least two of the following:
- Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league
- Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in international competition with a national team
- Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition
- A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
- Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings
- Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport
Once the visa petition is approved, USCIS will send it to a U.S. embassy or consulate for the beneficiary to complete the visa application process.
Change of employer
The new employer must file a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. Employment with the new employer can only start after the new I-129 application has been approved by USCIS
Essential Support Personnel are Also Eligible for P-1 Status
Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete or team, performing support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker; this may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees. A separate Form I-129 application must be filed.
- A consultation from an from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill
- A statement describing the prior and current essentiality, critical skills, and experience of the beneficiary with the P-1 beneficiary and
- that the beneficiary has substantial experience performing the critical skills and essential support services for the P-1
A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement