P-1 Visa for Athletes
If you are an athlete participating in a competition or as a member of a team in a recognized level competition in the United States, you could be eligible to obtain a temporary nonimmigrant P-1 visa. To be eligible, the petitioner needs to prove to be an alien who excels out of the ordinary in athletic standards such that those accomplishments are renowned in more than one country. In simple terms, the P-1 visa category applies to you if you are planning to come to the US as an athlete, member of an athletic team, coach, or other support staff. Besides, in some cases involving non-traditional sports, the P-1 visa category also applies to professional or amateur athletes coming temporarily to the United States to perform in events like theatrical ice skating production or tour.
The purpose of P-1 Visa
The purpose of the visit needs to be related to an athletic activity such as athletic competition, entertainment events, exhibit, tour, promotional activities, and sports marketing exhibitions. Also, the P-1 visa holder can engage in part-time studies at a side while performing their athletic activities for either prize or money. Nevertheless, the P-1 visa holders must remember that every time they start working for a different employer, the employer needs to submit a separate Form I-129 to file for a new petition. Unless a US agent file for a P-1 visa petition, which avoids having to file a separate form for every single employer. Under those new circumstances, the appeal involved multiple employers requested by an authorized US agent requires several conditions such as the complete list of the itinerary of the events, the supporting documents of the events, the contract between the employers and the athletes, and an agreement between the agent and all the parties involved. In some cases, further documentation can be requested by the USCIS.
To begin the process, the US employer or sponsoring organization or authorized agent must submit an I-129 Form, Petition for a nonimmigrant worker. At this stage, the athlete or the team needs to provide additional documentation. This documentation includes a copy of the written contract between the petitioner and the alien, the description of the events, the duration, and the advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area. Besides, it is necessary to mention that if the P1 Visa is team-based, then the athlete or staff member could only work on activities related to the team.
After having all the requirements, the application may take between 2 to 15 weeks to receive the final response form USCIS concerning the approval of the P1 visa. The duration of the visa for an individual athlete could be extended up to 5 years, while if the petition is an athletic team-based, then the visa is for the duration for the athletic activity but could be extended for up to 1 year.
At our firm, we understand that the application process could seem a little overwhelming and time-consuming. Therefore, we are here to guide you during all the process of the application to obtain the P-1 visa. Over the years, we have submitted P-1 visa applications for multiple athletes, coaches, and other athletic staff. Our team will conduct an in-depth review and research to determine the best path to take to have the best chances to obtain the P-1 visa.