P-1 Individual or Team Athlete or Member of an Entertainment Group Visa


The P-1 Individual or Team Athlete or Member of an Entertainment Group Visa is a visa for someone looking to come to the United States in order to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. The person must be internationally recognized at a sustained level of performance. The athlete can work as an individual or as part of a group or team at an internationally recognized level of performance. You must already be recognized with a high level of achievement and be coming to the states to perform in an individual event, competition or performance. This visa is also appropriate for people who will provide essential services in support of the athlete. 

If you’re apart of a team, under the P-1 classification you must be coming to the U.S. to participate in team events and must have obtained international recognition within the sport. The event your team is participating in has to be distinguished. It also requires the participation of other athletic teams that have international recognition.

To come to the U.S. under this classification, your U.S. employer has to file an I-129 form on your behalf. Then an application must be submitted complete with the proper documentation and matching fees. The petition should prove that the individual traveling to the states alone or in a team has participated in sports for a significant extent in a prior season before the event in the states takes place. An interview also needs to be scheduled with the U.S. Embassy. An incomplete petition, application and interview can result in this classification being denied.

An individual athlete can stay in the country for the time of the complete event or competition. This event should not exceed 5 years. An athletic group can also stay in the states during the complete time of the event. In a group situation, the event can’t exceed more than 1 year. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 must obtain a P-4 status. Your dependents can not work while in the U.S., but they can attend school or college.

Before anyone can apply for a temporary worker visa at a US Embassy or Consulate a Petition for a non-immigrant Worker from I-29 has to be filed on your behalf by the prospective employer. The petition then must be approved by the USCI.S. There are temporary worker categories that are limited in the total number of petitions that can be approved on a yearly basis. It’s important not to make any final travel plan until a visa has been officially issued to you.

After the petition is approved, a photo should be uploaded to the online non-immigrant visa application form and the form should be completed. It is then important to schedule an interview for anyone between the ages of 14-79 to complete the application process. 

Important documentation that should be presented at the interview to make the process go as easy as possible includes:

  • A valid passport
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application Form
  • Confirmation page of the visa application submission
  • Application fee payment receipt if you have to pay the fee before the interview
  • Receipt number for the petition
  • A photo

After the visa interview, some people will be asked for further documentation which will require administrative processing. Spouses and children under the age of 21 can apply for the same visa as the athlete and stay in the country for the same amount of time.