P-1A or P-1B Visa

A P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete is an individual coming to the United States temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, at an internationally recognized level of performance. 
A P-1B Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group is an individual coming as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally.
 

Who is eligible?

Internationally Recognized Athlete, P-1A
You may be eligible to be classified as a P-1A, Internationally Recognized Athlete if you are coming to the United States 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
Below are some key requirements you must meet to be classified as a P-1A Individual Athlete:
  • You must be coming to the United States to participate in an individual event, competition or performance that require an internationally recognized athlete, and
  • You are internationally recognized, which means you have 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.
Below are some key requirements that you must meet to be classified as a P-1A Member of an Athletic Team:
  • Your team must be coming to the United States to participate in an athletic competition which has a distinguished reputation and which requires participation of an athletic team that has an international reputation;
  • Your team, as a unit, must have achieved international recognition in the sport; and
  • You will not perform services separate and apart from the team.
Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group, P-1B
You may be eligible to be classified as a P-1B Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.
Below are some key requirements that you must meet to be classified as a P-1B, Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group:
  • At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year (with certain exceptions);
  • Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered (please see exceptions and special provisions noted below); and
  • The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements or acclaim of its members, is essential.
Special Provisions for Certain Entertainment Groups
Alien circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt from the one-year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement. The alien or aliens must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus.
Certain nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish that their group has been recognized nationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained amount of time in consideration of special circumstances.

How to Apply

In order to apply for P-1A or P-1B classifications, the petitioner must:
  • Complete the Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker. Review the instructions for the Form I-129 and complete the Form I-129 and related Supplements.
  • Submit the Filing Fee(s). Include the appropriate filing fee with the Form I-129. Refer to Form I-129 instructions for further details.
  • Submit Evidence. Include all supporting documentation. Also submit a consultation from an appropriate labor organization describing the work or services to be performed in the United States and your qualifications for such work.
  • Submit a Duplicate Copy of the Form I-129. Include a duplicate copy of Form I-129 and all supporting documentation, even if you are filing the Form I-129 to seek a change of status (COS) or extension of stay (EOS).
  • Sign and File the Form I-129. File the petition at the correct filing location (USCIS Service Center, designated Lockbox or electronically, when e-filing is made available) according to form instructions.
A petitioner filing as an agent for both the beneficiary and multiple employers must establish that he/she is duly authorized to act as an agent. .
 

What Happens After You Apply

Once USCIS receives and processes the Form I-129 petition, you will receive:
  • A receipt notice for the Form I-129, Petition for Non immigrant Worker, and
  • A written notice of decision.
After the Form I-129 visa petition is approved, you can apply for a P-1A or P-1B visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.