US P1 Visa for Athletes
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American P1 Visa Guide for Athletes and Team Visitors

The US government created the American P1 visa, a special nonimmigrant visa, to encourage diversity in entertainment, sports, performances, and culture. Internationally known athletes, entertainment groups, performers, and cultural coaches are encouraged to visit the United States. However, they will have to find a sponsor in the United States to ensure their travel and performance dates.

In this article, we will be educating you on everything you need to know about the American P1 Visa for Athletes and Team Visitors.

About The American P1 Visa for Athletes

The American P1 visa is granted to individuals or teams of athletes who wish to engage in different sporting programs in the United States while promoting themselves, their team, and their sport.

It is also created for entertainers to engage in various entertainment shows, tournaments, and other events, whether individuals or groups. The circus, for example, is an example of an entertainment group.

The American P1 visa is separated into two visas because it is targeted at two different groups of people:

  1. The P1A visa is for internationally renowned athletes or sporting teams.
  2. Individuals or members of a globally known performing group can apply for a P1B visa.

If a team of athletes or entertainers is seeking these two categories of visas, the team must have two or more members. For example, musical groups with one solo performer and other accompanying musicians qualify.

The team must have been together for at least a year, and 34 members must have been a part of it for at least a year. As a result, it’s challenging to qualify and verify recognition for only recently founded teams.

All individual and group athletes and entertainers must be nationally or internationally recognized to qualify for a P1A or P1B visa. You can go to the United States to compete for prizes.

In addition, you can get an American P1 visa if you have the staff and key personnel needed for the performance of athletes and entertainers.

The American P1 visa allows holders to participate in sporting seasons, entertainment events, tours, tournaments, and other projects. They can also study part-time while in the United States.

However, there is one restriction to people on the team. Athletes or entertainers within the group may not perform individually in the United States. If you have an American P1 visa to run on your team, all performance must be with your team, not alone.

Eligibility Criteria for an American P1 Visa

Professional athletes, particularly those who have achieved international prominence, are eligible for an American P1 Visa.

You can apply on your own or as part of a group. This visa is also available to coaches and support personnel of the athletic holder.

Members of entertainment groups who have established a year-long relationship with the rest of the team are also eligible.

Requirements for an American P1 Visa

Because the American P1 visa is a catch-all for the P1A and P1B visas, there are various eligibility conditions for each. Two of the following requirements must be met by athletes asking for a P1A visa:

  • Athletes must have competed in a major sports league in the United States.
  • Athletes must have competed in a college, university, or intercollegiate sports league in the United States.
  • Athletes must have completed or participated in a competition or event at a national or international level.
  • Athletes must have achieved a high national or international ranking.
  • Athletes must have won a national or international award for their outstanding performance.

The following standards must be met for the P1B visa or a globally known entertainment group:

  • The performer or group has experienced a lot of success in terms of ratings, records, video sales, and movie office receipts.
  • The entertainer’s or group’s accomplishments have been documented in trade publications or big media.
  • The performer or group has received accolades from critics, government agencies, or other professionals who can attest to the individual’s or group’s accomplishments.
  • The entertainer or group earns a solid living and is well compensated for their work.

How to Apply for the American P1 Visa

Applicants for the American P1 visa, whether sportsmen or performers, follow comparable procedures.

Below are the steps to follow to apply for an American P1 Visa:

#Step 1: Submitting a petition

To acquire approval for the sportsmen or entertainers to petition for the American P1 visa, the US employer or sponsor must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS.

The petition must be filed no later than six months before the scheduled performance, and a cost of $695 per petition must be paid (beginning October 2, 2020).

If a US company is petitioning for a group of athletes or entertainers, they can file a collective petition instead of filing separate petitions for each member.

The US employer must additionally provide documents and evidence in addition to the primary Form I-129 petition. These documents must be filed for the P1A visa or the athletic visa:

  • Evidence of consultation with a labor union
  • An event or performance schedule provides dates and times for each event.
  • Contracts with sports leagues or teams in the United States
  • As indicated in the criteria section, evidence of eligibility shows the individual athlete or team is nationally or globally recognized.

The petition for the P1B visa, or an individual artist or entertainment group, must include the following documents:

  • Consultation with a labor union that is appropriate
  • Contracts between the group and the sponsors or summaries of oral agreements
  • Proof of the group’s age (more than one year since it was founded) and each person’s participation or job in the group Itinerary with events and performances, including dates and durations of each event
  • Proof that the person or group of performers is eligible for the visa and has gained national or worldwide renown, as specified in the criteria section.

The petition will take 2 to 8 weeks to process after the US sponsors or employers submit it to USCIS. Then, if the petition is authorized, USCIS will issue Form I-797, Notice of Action, to US sponsors, sportsmen, or entertainers.

Athletes and entertainers can only begin their visa application at a US Embassy in their home country after they have received approval.

#Step 2: Fill out the DS-160 form

The most common form for nonimmigrant visa applicants is Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. It will ask questions about your personal information, history, and reason for visiting the United States. In addition, you will get a confirmation page and a code that you’ll require for your document file once you’ve submitted it.

#Step 3: The application cost must be paid

The visa application cost is $190 for all P visas. You must pay this cost to proceed with the rest of the application stages.

Other payments, known as visa issuance fees, may apply in addition to the application fee, depending on your country’s connection with the United States.

The amount varies depending on the nation. You must preserve the receipts and attach them to the docs file after you have paid the fees.

#Step 4: Make an appointment for your visa interview

All nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must undergo an interview with the US Embassy. Because of their busy schedules, scheduling the interview as soon as feasible is best.

You will receive an interview confirmation letter when you book your visa interview, which you must carry with you on the day of the interview.

#Step 5: Make sure your document file is ready

When applying for an American P1 visa, you must have your whole paperwork file with you. There are papers that the applicant must provide to apply for an American P1 visa.

Aside from the regular documentation necessary for any nonimmigrant visa in the United States, the file for a P1 visa application must also include the following:

  • With Form I-797, you have an authorized petition.
  • Your employer’s letter explaining the specifics of your performance and events
  • Make a deal with your boss or a sponsor.
  • Proof that you, as an individual or as part of a group of sportsmen or performers, are well-known nationally or worldwide.
  • You must have a valid marriage certificate for your spouse or birth certificates for your children if you bring your dependents on a P-4 visa.

#Step 6: Attend the interview

A US Embassy representative will conduct the visa interview. You must arrive on time and with all of your documentation.

The interviewer will inquire about your history and motivation for visiting the United States. You must offer precise information since your visa will be denied if the official accuses you of withholding information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long is the American P1 Visa Processing Time?

The processing duration for the P1 visa is 3 to 6 months. Although there is a considerable wait, US institutions can pay for expedited processing.

If you pick premium processing for your visa, you will be charged an extra $1,225 and will have your visa response in 15 days. Your money will be refunded if the US schools do not notify you of your visa status within 15 days.

How Long is the American P1 Visa Valid?

Depending on who you are with a P1 visa, there are varied validities and requirements for extension. For example, your visa may be granted for a maximum of 5 years if you are an individual athlete.

After that, you and your employer can petition to extend your stay for another five years. You must return to your native country after this term expires.

The visa is initially granted for a maximum of one year to a team of athletes. After that, the team’s visa can be renewed for an extra one-year period.

The initial validity for critical workers is one year, but they can extend it for another five years for a total of ten years.

With an American P1 visa, can I bring my dependents?

All P1, P2, and P3 visa holders are allowed to bring their dependents to the United States. Dependents include the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

They must apply at the same time, or after the primary P1, P2, or P3 visa holder has received his or her visa. After that, they must apply for a P4 visa. They will be able to study and reside in the United States but not work.

Can I apply for an adjustment of status on P-1?

Yes, you may apply for adjustment of visa status and lawfully seek to become a permanent resident of the US.

Are there any travel restrictions on P-1 visas?

No, there are no travel restrictions on the American P-1 visa. You can travel in and out of the US as long as your visa stamp and status are still valid.

Can I study with an American P-1 work visa?

Yes, you may engage in part-time study on an American P-1 visa.


An American P1 Visa might benefit people who need to go to the United States as athletes, support personnel, or entertainment team members. This article has provided enough information to address the essentials. Are you planning to visit the United States? You might need a US B2 Visa for Visitors.

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