Immigration Services

Immigration Services

Temporary Work Visas


P-1 Nonimmigrant Visa for Internationally Recognized Athlete


In order to qualify in the P-1 classification, you or your team must demonstrate that will participate in athletic events, competitions or performances in which you are internationally recognized. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.

“Internationally recognized” is defined as 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 your individual achievements, or your athletic team’s achievements, are renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country.

The P-1 legal standard can be demonstrated through evidence of at least two (2) of the following regulatory criteria:
  • Participation in a prior season with a major United States sports league.
  • Participated in international competitions with a national team.
  • Participated in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competitions.
  • A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport confirming your international recognition.
  • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport confirming your international recognition.
  • Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings.
  • Receipt of a significant honor or award in the sport.
In order to qualify, you must hold a contract with a major U.S. sports league or team, or a contract in an individual sport. As part of the process, the law also mandates that a peer group advisory opinion from an appropriate labor union be submitted.

P-1 visas can be granted for the period necessary to complete the event, competition or performance, up to five (5) years for an individual athlete (not to exceed 10 years), and for up to one (1) year for athletic teams.

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete or team 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.


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