For Artists & Entertainers
P-1 Nonimmigrant Visa for Members of an Outstanding Entertainment Group
The P-1 visa classification is for an
individual or group of individualscoming to the U.S. to perform with an entertainment group that has been internationally recognized as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time.
In order to qualify in the P-1 classification, you must demonstrate that:
- At least 75% of the members of your entertainment group have been performing regularly with the group for at least one (1) year; and
- Your entertainment group is internationally recognized.
“Internationally recognized”is defined as having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. In other words, you must show that the group’s achievements are renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country. Note that individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.
The P-1 legal standard can be demonstrated through either evidence of the group’s nomination or receipt of significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement or through evidence of at least three (3) of the following regulatory criteria:
- Performing as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events with distinguished reputations as shown by critical reviews, ads, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements.
- Receipt of international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievements through reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications.
- Performing services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials.
- Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes confirmed by ratings, standing in the field, box office receipts, record or video sales, and other achievements as reported in major newspapers, trade journals, or other publications.
- Significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or recognized experts.
- Evidence that the group has either commanded or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration in relation to others in the field.
As part of the process, the law also mandates that a
peer group advisory opinionfrom an appropriate consulting entity, union or management group be submitted.
P-1 visas can be granted for the period necessary to complete the event, activity or performance, up to one (1) year, and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments. There is no limit on how many extensions you can get, as long as you continue to carry out events, activities or performances with your entertainment group. The P-1 is an “employer-specific” visa, which allows you to work only for your sponsor.
Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 entertainer or group and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 “support” classification.
Spouses and children of P-1 holders will be classified as P-4 “dependents.” Holders of P-4 status are not entitled to work in the United States.