P-1 visas are available to athletes or athletic teams that have been internationally recognized as outstanding for a long and continuous period of time. Entertainment companies that have been nationally recognized as outstanding for a long time also qualify. unlike o visas, which always rest on the capabilities of individuals, P-1 visas can be issued based on the expertise of a group. However, don’t be surprised to find a lot of overlap between uses and qualifications for О and P visas.
In the case of entertainment companies, each performer who wishes to qualify for a P-1 visa must have been an integral part of the group for at least one year, although up to 25% of them can be excused from the one-year requirement, if necessary. This requirement may also be waived in exceptional situations, where due to illness or other unanticipated circumstances, a critical performer is unable to travel. The one-year requirement is for performers only. It does not apply to support personnel. It also does not apply to anyone at all who works for a circus, including performers.
Like О-1 visas, P-1 visas are issued only for the time needed to complete a particular event, tour, or season. You may also be allowed some extra time for vacation, as well as promotional appearances and stopovers incidental and/or related to the event. Individual athletes, however, may remain in the U. S. for up to ten years.
To qualify as a P-1 athlete, you or your team must have an internationally recognized reputation in the sport. Evidence of this must include a contract with a major u. s. sports league, team, or international sporting event, and at least two of the following:
• proof of your, or your team’s, previous significant participation with a major U. S. sports league
• proof of your participation in an international competition with a national team
• proof of your previous significant participation with a U. S. college in intercollegiate competition
• written statement from an official of a major U. S. sports league or the governing body of the sport, detailing how you or your team is internationally recognized
• written statement from the sports media or a recognized expert regarding your international recognition
• evidence that you or your team is internationally ranked, or
• proof that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.
P-1 visas are not available to individual entertainers, but only to members of groups with international reputations. Your group must have been performing regularly for at least one year, and 75% of the members of your group must have been performing with that group for at least a year. When your employer files a petition on your behalf, the employer will have to supply proof of your group’s sustained international recognition, as shown by either its nomination for, or receipt of, significant international awards or prizes, or at least three of the following:
• proof that your group has or will star or take a leading role in productions or events with distinguished reputations
• reviews or other published material showing that your group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in the field
• proof that your group has and will star or take a leading role in productions or events for organizations with distinguished reputations
• proof of large box office receipts or ratings showing your group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes
• proof that your group has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts, or
• proof that your group commands a high salary or other substantial remuneration.
Circus performers and essential personnel do not need to have been part of the organization for one year to get a P-1 visa, provided the particular circus itself has a nationally recognized reputation as outstanding.
USCIS may waive the international recognition requirement for groups that have only outstanding national reputations, if special circumstances would make it difficult for your group to prove its international reputation. such circumstances could include your group having only limited access to news media, or problems based on your group’s geographical location.
USCIS may waive the one-year group membership requirement for you if you are replacing an ill or otherwise unexpectedly absent but essential member of a P-1 entertainment group. This requirement may also be waived if you will be performing in any critical role of the group’s operation.