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The P-1 Visa

Transcript of the above video:

In this video we are going to be discussing the visa categorized as the P-1(A) visa. As I have discussed in another couple of videos on this channel, there are certain types of visas which can be extended for individuals who don’t, they need work authorization on a non-immigrant basis for like a temporary basis in the United States but they don’t meet the general requirements of like industrial workers or agricultural workers, etc. They oftentimes fall into categories which can only be described as like athletics or entertainment. And the P-1 A is no exception to that, in fact the P-1 A is specifically designed for such things. I often find it’s often best to go to the horse’s mouth so USCIS under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security has this to say about the P-1 A visa, and I quote: “The P1 classification applies to you if you are coming to the US temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team at an internationally recognized level of performance”. That’s a term of art there: “internationally recognized level of performance “.

Individual Athletes Eligibility Criteria

You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition, performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading and well known in more than one country.

To come to the United States your US employer must file a form, I-129 petition for non-immigrant worker accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. The supporting documentation in such matters is going to vary. It’s going to vary case by case and look; obviously the Olympics would be covered by something like this. If we had an Olympics in the United States, where individual athletes needed to come to the United States to compete at an event and the internationally recognized criteria would relatively easily be covered by that event. That being said, more amateur athletic events, I guess I should say less well known, less notoriety, athletic type events, and sports with less notoriety may not necessarily fit under the “international recognition” operative phraseology, if you will.  So the supporting documentation and the circumstances specific to the individual applying for the P -1 A are going to be critical with respect to ultimate approval because the individual in question. It may be a sport and it can actually operate to someone’s favor if the sport isn’t particularly in the spotlight (so for example someone) and there are various sports that simply don’t have the level of recognition in the United States that say other types of sports do. But for example, there may be major bowling tournaments for example in the United States, although bowling isn’t maybe quite on the level of say professional baseball in the US or professional football or Olympic level sporting events, one who’s one of the best in the world, you know, one of the top 3 people in the world with respect to professional level bowling, they may be eligible for a P-1 (a) visa whereas somebody who’s sort of more middle of the pack in something, in a sport that may be more highly recognized, someone who may not have quite the level of ability in a sport that may be more recognized internationally, may not meet the requirements for a P-1 A. So again, this is going to be very circumstantially based. The P-1 A, and issuance and approval of petitions related to a P-1 A.  But that being said, P-1 As can be a way in which various athletes can get into the United States in lawful status.