There are many reasons for wanting to immigrate to the United States. For some people, it might be because of business or an investment opportunity. Others may be looking to immigrate to take part in the many educational opportunities with a student visa. For some people, they may be coming partake in either athletic competitions or entertainment performances. For these people, the P visa may be their best option.
For those who are deemed to be “internationally recognized” athletes who are looking to come to the United States to participate in an athletic competition, they may find their solution with the P-1A visa. These are for individual athletes, as well as those who are members of a larger group and allows or them to come and compete. How does one qualify? To be deemed acceptable under this visa, you must have gained international recognition – either through evidence of skill or accomplishments.
To apply for this visa, first your U.S. employer must file the Form I-129 Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker. In some cases, your employer may just be your agent. They are also responsible for all applicable fees and documentation. Nevertheless, it is wise to speak with a New York business immigration attorney about the matter before beginning the process.
Some of the documentation that is required includes the following:
It must also include supporting documentation that proves a minimum of two things, including evidence of participation with a major U.S. sports league, national league, U.S. college or university in an intercollegiate competition or even a written statement from a U.S. sports league or official detailing how you are internationally recognized or evidence of your international rankings.
For those who are approved, they will be able to stay for up to five years for the initial stay for an individual athlete (they can extend this for up to five years). For members of an athletic group, the initial stay is limited to one year, however, they can petition for an extension in one year increments. For essential support personnel, the stay is limited to one year, although extensions can be granted in five year increments.
The P-1 visa also stretches to encompass those who are coming to perform in the United States as a member of an internationally recognized entertainment group. These people may apply for this visa if it can be proven that the entertainment group is both internationally recognized and that, at a minimum, 75 percent of the members have been affiliated with the group for more than a year. For this visa, it is the reputation of the group as a whole that will matter the most – not the individuals within the group.
To apply, the U.S. employer of the entertainers must file the Form I-129 Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker, along with the fees and necessary documents. They must also submit a consultation, if applicable, with a statement from a labor organization discussing the nature of the work. Along with this, they must submit all necessary fees, a copy of the contract, evidence of the group’s regular performance, as well as a list of all members within the group and their start date. There must also be documentation showing the group has been internationally recognized. This may be done through international awards or prizes or evidence of proof that the group starred in an internationally recognized production or event and such.
Those who are granted access under the P-1B visa are allowed to stay for an initial period of one year. After this, they may petition for an extension of stay, which may be granted in one year increments for as long as it takes to complete the event, competition or performance. For family members of the members of the entertainment group, they may be granted access as well under the P-4 visa. Those who are deemed “essential support personnel” will also be able to petition for a visa (ex: front office personnel, camera operators, etc.)
If you are looking to file for a visa or if you have any other questions, do not hesitate to get the involvement of an immigration attorney from Pozo Goldstein, LLP. We can also help with other visa in the P category – such as the P-2 visa for performers or groups who are performing under a reciprocal exchange program or a P-3 visa for those who are a part of a culturally unique program.
At our firm, we recognize how daunting it can be to file for a visa and we are prepared to go above and beyond on behalf of our clients. Should you choose to work with us, you will be able to rest assured knowing that we will do everything possible to helping you achieve the correct visa and have a seamless entrance into the United States.
No matter the circumstances, you will be able to be confident knowing we can help with your P-1 visa.
So what are you waiting for? When it’s your future on the line, you need to be confident that you are doing everything possible to protect it. To get your questions answered about what you are facing, no matter whether it is about eligibility requirements or the application process, you should not hesitate to pick up the phone and call us. You can also message us directly through our online form.
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