Powell Immigration Law PC | Business, Employment and Family Immigration Law | California

P-1 Visa for Athletes and Entertainment Groups

A basic overview of the visa is provided here. If you have further inquiries as to the application process or whether or not this is the correct route for your needs, please don't hesitate to contact us.


The P-1 visa is available to athletes as well as internationally recognized artists and entertainment groups wishing to enter the United States for participation in internationally recognized events for U.S. employers or international ones working through a U.S. agent.


P-1A Visa: Athletes And Athletic Teams

Applicants must possess international recognition in their sports and must be traveling to the U.S. in order to engage in activities requiring such recognition.

In order to qualify, athletes must provide evidence legal contracts with a major U.S. sports league or organization in addition to offering proof of at least two of the following:

  • Significant participation in prior seasons within a major U.S. sports league.
  • Participation with a national team in international competitions.
  • Substantial participation in inter-collegiate competitions in a past U.S. college or university season.
  • A written statement from a major U.S. sports league or representative demonstrating the applicant's or his or her team's international recognition.
  • A written statement from relevant sports media or a recognized expert in the niche.
  • An international ranking as provided by athletic organizations with international recognition. 
  • The individual's receiving of significant honors and/or awards in the sport.

p-1b visa: Artists And Entertainment Groups

The group’s achievements must be internationally recognized and the group must be travelling to the U.S. in order to perform services that requiring such recognition.

The applicant must also provide evidence of a legal contract with a U.S. employer or agent in addition to demonstrating the following:

  • The proposed services within the U.S. require an entertainment group of international recognition. 
  • 75% of the group's members have maintained a substantial and active relationship with the group for at least one year and are essential to the group’s performance.
  • The group has received impressive international awards, prizes or nominations for its achievements. 

Furthermore, the group must also provide proof of at least three of the following:

  • The group has performed in the past, or will be performing, as a leading entertainment group in distinguished events.
  • International recognition and acclaim for its achievements.
  • The group has performed and will continue to perform as a leading group for organizations of distinguished repute.
  • Major commercial or critically acclaimed success.
  • The group is given special recognition for its achievements by organizations, critics, government agencies or other appropriately qualified experts.
  • The group has received or will receive high compensation relative to others that are similarly situated.


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