P - Internationally Recognized Athletes, Athletic Teams and Entertainers

The P-1 classification applies to people who are coming to the U.S. 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. 

P-1A: Internationally Recognized Athlete

People eligible for a P-1A Visa must be coming to the United States to participate in an individual event, competition or performance in which they are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement, as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.

In order to establish eligibility for a P-1A, an athlete must show at least two (2) of the following:

  • Significant participation in a prior U.S. major league season;
  • Participation in international competition with a national team; 
  • Significant participation in a prior U.S. intercollegiate competition season; 
  • Written statement from official of sport’s governing body; 
  • Written statement from sports media or recognized expert;
  • International ranking; or
  • Significant honors/awards in the sport.

P-1B: A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

The P-1B visa classification applies to people who are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. 

The entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.  Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification. In order to establish eligibility for the P-1B category, the entertainment group must provide evidence of either the group’s nomination for or receipt of significant international awards or at least three (3) of the following:

  • Starring or leading entertainment group in productions with distinguished reputations;
  • International recognition or acclaim for outstanding achievements;
  • Leading or starring group for organizations with distinguished reputations;
  • Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes; 
  • Significant recognition for achievements; or
  • High salary.

P-2: Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program

The P-2 classification applies to foreign nationals who are coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, and who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between a U.S. organization and foreign organization.  Those entering on P-2 must be artists entering the United States through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program. In addition, P-2 foreign nationals must possess skills comparable to those of the United States artists and entertainers taking part in the program outside the United States.

P-3: Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program

The P-3 classification applies to those who come to the United States temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a culturally unique program.  For a P-3 visa, the foreign national must be coming to the United States either individually or as a group for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation.  In addition, the foreign national must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of the specific art form.  The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.