Athlete or Member of an Athletic Team
1. P-1A Visa Definition
The P-1 Visa Athlete classification may be granted to an individual athlete who is internationally recognized based on his or her own reputation and achievements. Additionally, the P-1 Visa Athlete must be coming to the United States to perform services that require an internationally recognized athlete.
Alternatively, a P-1 Visa Athlete may be granted to a member of a foreign team that is internationally recognized. In this case, the athletic team must have achieved international recognition in the sport. Each member of the team is accorded P-1 Visa classification based on the international reputation of the team. Thus, an athlete granted a P-1 Visa based on team membership may not perform services separate and apart from his or her athletic team.
2. P-1A Visa Requirements
A P-1 petition for an athlete must be filed by a United States employer, a United States sponsoring organization, a United States agent, or a foreign employer through a United States agent.
A petition for an athlete who will compete individually or as a member of a team must be accompanied by evidence that the athlete or team has achieved international recognition in the sport. A petition for a P-1 athlete or athletic team must include a tendered contract with a major United States sports league or team, or a tendered contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in that sport.
The petition must also include at least two of the following:
- Evidence of having participated significantly in a prior season with a major United States sports league;
- Evidence of having participated in international competition with a national team;
- Evidence of having participated significantly in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition;
- A written statement from an official of the governing body of the sport, which details how the athlete or team is internationally recognized;
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how the athlete or team is internationally recognized;
- Evidence that the athlete or team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings; or
- Evidence that the athlete or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.