P-1visas are available to those interested in entering the country to perform at specific athletic competitions as athletes either individually or as a part of a team. The performance, however, will need to be internationally recognized, which will be explained later in this article. Here, we will provide a general overview of P-1 visas and what you will need to do if you wish to petition for the visa.

Internationally Recognized Sport

A person coming to the country to compete for individual events will need to demonstrate that he or she is recognized on an international basis based on his or her own achievements and reputation. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, international recognition is defined as having an optimal level of achievement in an area, which is demonstrated by a degree of skill and recognition that is above what is ordinarily encountered. This is to the extent that the achievement is renowned, well-recognized, or leading in more than one nation.

P-1 visas may also be granted to members of internationally recognized foreign teams. Each individual member of the team will be granted a P-1 visa, based on the recognition and international reputation of the team. When a P-1 visa is granted based on a team membership, the individual who was granted the visa cannot perform separate or apart from his or her team.

What a P-1 Visa Will Allow Aside From Athletic Performance

A P-1 visa holder can not only perform for prize money or payment but he or she can also enroll in part-time education courses. Additionally, P-1 visa holders can work for a variety of employers but it should be noted that each individual employer will need to file a petition separately.

Aside from athletic competition, P-1 visa holders can participate in tournaments, tours, exhibits, projects, entertainment events, or other engagements. These activities can also include promotional appearances, short vacations, and stays that are intentional or associated to the activity.

Documents Needed for P-1 Visa Petitions

Individual petitions can be valid for up to five (5) years; whereas athletic team petitions can be valid for the duration of the competition or a maximum of one (1) year. In order to petition for a P-1 visa, the following might also be required in addition to the generally required documents.

  • A current contract with a major United States team, sports league.
  • A current contract with an individual sport commensurate that has international recognition in the specific sport.
  • A minimum of two (2) of the following forms of evidence: Participation on a national team that is at an international level, Proof that the individual or team has previously received a significant award and/or honor in the sport, Proof that the individual or team is highly ranked, according to the international ranking system.

For a P-1 Visa, Consult the Support of a Qualified Attorney

P-1 visas apply to amateur and professional athletes who are temporarily coming into the country solely to perform specific athletic performances. If you are seeking to petition for a P-1 visa or have recently been denied for a P-1visa, seek the legal guidance and support of a well-versed attorney.

Immigration law Attorney Oliver P. King has many years of dedicated experience helping athletes interested in obtaining a P-1 visa. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency enforces strict guidelines for those petitioning for a visa, which can make the entire process time consuming, challenging, and expensive. Seek the legal representation you need when applying; consider contacting the King Immigration Law Group today for a free case evaluation.