P-1 Visa for Athletes and Entertainers

The P-1 classification applies to a foreign national 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.

P-1 Visa: Filing the Petition for Athletes

Document Requirements

  • A U.S. employer should file the petition with:
  • A written advisory opinion 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;
  • Copies of evidence of at least two of the following:
    • Significant participation in a prior season with a major United States sports league;
    • Participation in international competition with a national team;
    • Significant participation in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition;
    • A written statement from an official of the governing body of the sport which details how the foreign national or team is internationally recognized;
    • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how the foreign national or team is internationally recognized;
    • The individual or team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings; or
    • The foreign national or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.

Overview of P-1 Entertainment Group

The P-1 classification also applies to a foreign national coming temporarily to perform as a member of a foreign-based entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. This person also must have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group (ordinarily for at least one year) and/or provide functions integral to the group’s performance.

P-1 Visa: Filing the Petition for Entertainers

The O-1 category also applies to foreign nationals who are coming to the U.S. temporarily and have extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

Document Requirements

The petition should be filed by a U.S. employer with:

  • A written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization;
  • A statement that the group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year;
  • Evidence the group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of the group’s receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field, or evidence of at least 3 of the following:
    • The group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;
    • The group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines or other published material;
    • The group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
    • The group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications;
    • The foreign born entertainer has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which he or she is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author’s authority, expertise and knowledge of the individual’s achievements; or
    • The group has commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.