P-1A Visa for Internationally Recognized Athletes
Are you looking to come to the U.S. to compete in a marathon or other sports event? Alcorn Immigration Law can help determine if you, your team, or your support staff are eligible for P-1A visas.
A P-1A visa enables a well-known athlete to come to the U.S. temporarily to compete as an individual or as part of a team. P-1A visas are also available to the athlete or team’s essential support staff.
A candidate for a P-1A visa must:
- Be coming to the U.S. to participate in an event or competition or perform as an internationally recognized athlete.
- Be internationally recognized. That means the athlete has achieved recognition through a high degree of skill in the sport or that the athlete’s achievement is well known in more than one country.
- If support staff, be an essential member of the athlete’s support personnel, such as a coach or trainer, whose work cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker.
An athlete or support staff seeking a P-1A visa to compete as part of a team, must:
- Show the team—including essential support personnel—is coming to the U.S. to participate in a competition that has a distinguished reputation and requires the participation of internationally recognized athletic teams.
- Demonstrate the team together has achieved international recognition in the sport.
- Show that the athlete is participating in a team event and that the individual athlete is not participating separately from the team.
- If support staff, be an essential member of the team’s personnel, such as a coach, scout, trainer, or other team official, whose work cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker.
To apply for a P-1A, the employer of the athlete or team must:
- File Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) and pay the filing fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Submit a statement from a labor organization describing the work to be performed in the U.S., and each individual candidate’s qualifications.
- Provide a copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league, team, or individual sport, and the event and itinerary.
- If the individual is a member of the athlete or team’s support personnel, provide a statement describing the critical skills and experience with the athlete or team, and a copy of the contract with the employer.
- Show at least two of the following:
- The athlete had significant participation in a prior season with a major U.S. sports league.
- The athlete has participated in international competition with a national team.
- The athlete has participated in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition.
- A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league that explains how the athlete or the team is internationally recognized.
- A written statement from a sports reporter or a recognized expert that explains how the athlete or the team is internationally recognized.
- Evidence that the athlete or the team is ranked.
- Evidence that the athlete or the team has received a major award in the sport.
Eligibility for Families
The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of P-1B visa holders may obtain a P-4 visa. P-4 visa holders may not work, but may attend school or college.
We Can Help
At Alcorn Immigration Law, we help individuals and their families find the best solution to legally come to the U.S., whether temporarily or permanently, to pursue their dreams. If you have any questions, contact us.