P Visa is a short-term employment visa that allows foreign athletes, artists, entertainers, and their spouses and children to come to the United States. Within the general P Visa category, there are different designations or classifications, depending on your occupation and reason for coming here.

For example, you may receive a  P-1 Visa designation if you are coming here just long enough  to participate in a specific competition as an elite-level athlete (professional or highly ranked amateur) in an individual or team sport. See the detailed information below.


P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete. Read more

P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group. Read more

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

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



Individual Athletes

➡️You may qualify for this type of visa if you are an internationally known athlete who regularly competes on an elite level and you are coming to the United States to compete in an individual sport at a tournament or similar event.

Athletic Teams

➡️Players may qualify for this type of visa as long as the team is internationally known and is coming to the United States for the sole purpose of competing against other teams of equal caliber in elite-level games or tournaments.


Individual athletes or teams seeking P-1A visas must provide proof that the meet the requirements noted above, such as:

➡ A written statement from the players union (if applicable)

➡ Copies of any applicable contracts with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport

➡ A detailed description of the event and itinerary.

➡ Documentation of at least two of the following 👇

Proof that you were a star player for, or on the starting roster of a major professional sports team in the United States of America in a prior season.

Proof that you represented your country in a significant manner as a member of a national team during an international competition.

Proof that you were a star player for, or on the starting roster of a U.S. college or university team in intercollegiate competition in a prior season.

A written statement from the commissioner of a professional U.S. sports league or a similar official that explains why you or your team gained international recognition.

A written explanation issued by  a member of the sports media or another  recognized. expert in the sport which details how you or your team gained international acclaim.

Proof that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings.

Proof that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport



➡️A significant majority (at least three-quarters) of the group members must have had a meaningful and ongoing relationship with the group for at least one year. Furthermore, the group must be well known globally and recognized for extraordinary achievements as a group.

Note: This visa classification is not available for individual entertainers.


Groups seeking this type of visa classification must provide proof that the meet the criteria listed above by providing:

➡ A written statement from a union (if applicable).

➡ A detailed schedule listing the dates and locations of all performances.

➡ A copy of any applicable contracts and/or documentation of any verbal agreements

➡ Proof that the group has existed and performed on a regular basis for at least a year.

➡ A  statement from the person requesting the visa on behalf of the group listing each member and the specific dates for which each has been employed by the group on a regular basis.

➡ Proof of the group’s international recognition and achievements, such as the receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field, or evidence of at least three of the following👇

Your group has and will appear as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events that have been the subject of critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements.

Your group is globally recognized for its extraordinary achievements as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines or other published material

Your group has and will appear as a leading or starring group for well known organizations and establishments as evidenced by mainstream media and related coverage.

Your group has achieved major commercial or critically acclaimed success, as evidenced by TV ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as publicized by the mainstream media and other outlets.

Your group has received honors, awards and recognition for its achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other qualified experts in the field

Your group has historically made more, currently makes more and will continue to make more money than other, similar groups. 



➡️To qualify for this type of visa, you must be an artist coming here through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program. You must also have similar skills to those of the United States artists and entertainers taking part in the program overseas.


You must also prove that you meet the criteria listed above by providing:

➡  A written statement issued by a labor organization (if applicable)

➡ A copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the sponsoring U.S. organization(s) and the organization(s) in a foreign country that will host the artist or entertainer from the United States. 

➡ A statement issued by the sponsoring organization explaining the reciprocal exchange of United States artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which classification is sought.

➡ Evidence that you and the U.S. artist or entertainer involved in the reciprocal exchange agreement have similar skills and that the stipulations for employment are similar.

➡ Proof that an appropriate U.S. labor organization negotiated, or otherwise endorsed the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers.



➡️To qualify for this classification, you must be coming here either individually or as a group for the express purpose of promoting, interpreting, representing, supporting, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. Furthermore, you must be coming here to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of your art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.


You must also prove that you meet the criteria listed above by providing:

➡   A written statement from an appropriate labor organization (if applicable).

➡ A copy of the contract  or summary of the verbal agreement between relevant parties

➡ A detailed description of the event and itinerary.

➡ Sworn statements, testimonials or letters from recognized experts confirming the authenticity of your or your group’s skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching uncommon and traditional art forms, that includes the expert’s credentials and the basis of his or her knowledge of your or your group’s skills; OR documentation that your or your group’s performance is culturally unique as demonstrated by mainstream media and other coverage

➡ Paperwork showing that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events.

Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.



1️⃣ Form I-129 with P-Visa Supplement; 2️⃣ Supporting documents based on your P-Visa classification 3️⃣Filing fee


Filing fee of $460

Where to Send: You can find the most current information about where to send your petition on the Direct filing addresses for form i-129 page   Most current information about where to file this benefit request.

Once the visa petition has been approved,  you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees, see the Department of State: Travel.State.gov page or Applying for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate 

Can I ask for political asylum from outside the US?

NO. To apply for political asylum, you must be in the United States (embassies or diplomatic missions outside the US will not help you in this matter). Being outside the US, you can only apply for refugee status and this procedure is also a complicated procedure.

Can I apply for asylum when crossing the border?

This is possible, and such cases often occur at the border crossing with Mexico. The application directly on the border is an extreme measure. A very important point is that when you cross the border without the necessary permission (US visa) and asylum application, you are most likely to be detained and placed in an immigration prison where you will conduct initial inquiries and check all the facts you previously stated . The decisions of the border service can be delayed for weeks or even months.

Can I apply for political asylum if I am illegally in the US?

You have the right to defend and examine your application, even if you are in an illegal status. It is very important that this happens in the first year of your stay in the country. Otherwise, you have to argue, there are compelling reasons why you did not do this before.

How long does it take to get an interview for asylum?

Beginning on January 29, 2018, the Immigration Department for Asylum (USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Service Group) will give priority to the newest applications when assigning interviews. Such a change in the schedule of interviews will make it possible to weed out those applicants who use groundless statements and try to use this process solely to obtain a work permit and will enable the USCIS to immediately identify such persons and begin the process of their deportation. In reality, the new Priority will allow the USCIS to make decisions on qualified asylum seekers more quickly and efficiently.

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