P-1 Internationally Recognized Athlete or Member of Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group Visa

P-1 Visa The P-1A classification applies to any foreign national coming temporarily to the United States solely for the purpose of performing at a specific athletic competition as:

  • An individual athlete at an internationally recognized level of performance;
  • Part of a group or team at an internationally recognized level of performance;
  • A professional athlete; or
  • An amateur athlete or coach, who is part of a team or franchise that is located in the United States and a member of a foreign league or association that meets certain requirements as described below.

The P-1A classification also applies to professional or amateur athletes coming temporarily to the United States solely to perform in a specific theatrical ice skating production or tour, individually or as part of a group.

Certain family members may also accompany the P-1 visa holder as dependents. A P-1 visa holder may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Spouses of P-1 visa holders cannot apply for work authorization.

Internationally Recognized Individual Athletes

Foreign national must be coming to the United States to participate in a specific athletic competition in a sport in which foreign national is internationally recognized. Foreign national is internationally recognized if foreign national have a high level of achievement in a sport, demonstrated by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. Foreign national’s achievement must be renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country. The competition(s) foreign national wish to participate in must have a distinguished reputation and require the participation of internationally recognized athletes.

Internationally Recognized Athletic Teams

Foreign national must be coming to the United States to participate in an athletic competition with a team that, as a unit, has achieved international recognition in the sport. The athletic team as a unit must be internationally recognized as outstanding and must be coming to perform services that require an internationally recognized athletic team. The competition in which foreign national team is participating must have a distinguished reputation and require the participation of internationally recognized athletic teams.

Professional Athletes

Foreign national must be coming to the United States to be employed as an athlete by:

  • A team that is a member of an association of six or more professional sports teams whose total combined revenues exceed $10 million per year. The association must govern the conduct of its members and regulate the contests and exhibitions in which its member teams regularly engage; or
  • Any minor league team that is affiliated with such an association.

Amateur Athletes or Coaches

Foreign national must be coming to the United States to perform as an athlete or coach as part of a team or franchise that is located in the United States and a member of a foreign league or association. The foreign league or association must meet the following requirements:

  • The league or association must consist of 15 or more amateur sports teams;
  • Participation in the league must make players temporarily or permanently ineligible under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules to:
  • Earn a scholarship in the sport at a U.S. college or university; or
  • Participate in the sport at a U.S. college or university;
  • The league or association must be the highest level of amateur performance of that sport in the relevant foreign country; and
  • A significant number of the individuals who play in the league or association are drafted by a major sports league or a minor league affiliate.

Theatrical Ice Skaters

Foreign national must be coming to the United States to participate in a specific theatrical ice skating production or tour as a professional or amateur athlete who performs individually or as part of a group.

Essential support personnel

Essential support personnel are eligible for P-1S classification if they are an integral part of the performance of a P-1A nonimmigrant and perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers, broadcasters, referees, linesmen, umpires, and interpreters.

The petitioner must file a separate petition for essential support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the essential support person’s skill;
  • A statement describing the essential support person’s prior and current essentiality, critical skills, and experience with the P-1A athlete or team (unless coming to work in a Major League Sport); and
  • A copy of a written contract between the employer and the essential support personnel or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the essential support personnel will be employed.