P-1A visa athletes| P-1B visa entertainers

International Athletes P-1A visa | International Entertainment Groups, P-1B visa

As an artist, an athlete, or an entertainer, touring or performing in the United States is a lucrative and important career opportunity. However, if you’re not a US citizen or resident, securing permission to travel into the US in order to perform is a complicated process.

Your options for doing so: the P-1A and P-1B visas, created by The US Department of Homeland Security to allow athletes and entertainers to visit the country in order to perform.

Who Qualifies for These Visas?

The P-1A visa is specifically for athletes, and the P-1B is only for non-athlete entertainers. In both cases, in order to qualify, the individual, team or group must be internationally recognized for their skills – a vague designation to be sure. By performing at a level that is well above that which is typically found, the athletes and entertainers offer a substantial value by performing in the United States, and will therefore qualify for these visas.

It is important to note that in addition to the individual athletes or entertainers, the spouse and unmarried children (21 and under) of the performer can also come to the country as long as they submit the proper paperwork.

How Long Can You Stay?

Both the P-1A and the P-1B visa permit athletes and entertainers to remain in the country only for the duration of their performance schedule. In some cases, this may last for an extended period of time. An example of this would be when a professional athlete comes to play for a US based sports team.

For the P-1A visa, individual athletes are permitted to stay up to 5 years as long as they are scheduled for regular events. After the initial five years are up, they can apply for one extension of five additional years. If the athlete is part of a group, they are only permitted to stay for one year and then can apply for an additional year extension.

The P-1B visa allows individual entertainers to remain in the country for up to one year, followed by an extension of an additional year if approved. Like the P-1A visa, however, it is only possible to remain as long as the event, competition or performance is taking place.

While both the P-1A and the P-1B visas were designed to make it relatively easy for athletes and entertainers to come to the United States to perform, it is still essential to ensure everything is handled properly. If you have questions or need help with filing for one of these visas, please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with an experienced immigration attorney today.

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