FAQ For P-1 Visas (Internationally Recognized Athletes or Entertainers)


If you are an athlete or entertainer who is internationally recognized, you may be eligible for a P visa. A P-1 visa is a versatile option that allows several different types of artists and athletes to enter the US temporarily. Those who qualify and obtain a visa can enter the U.S. in advance of their performance or competition and remain in the country until the event or events have finished.

Am I Eligible for a P Visa?

There are three categories of P visas: P-1, P-2, and P-3 visas. Through a P-1 visa, internationally recognized entertainers, artists, athletes, and members of a team that is internationally recognized can enter the U.S. to participate in a competition, event, or performance that has a distinguished reputation and that requires the participation of an individual(s) with an international reputation.

A P-2 visa is available to artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, who come to the U.S. to perform under a reciprocal exchange program between the U.S. and one or more other countries. Applicants must prove the program's legitimacy by presenting a written exchange agreement.

A P3 visa is available to artists or entertainers who come to the U.S. as part of a group or individually to develop, interpret, teach, represent, or coach in a culturally unique program. The program can be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

Is a P Visa the Best Option for Me?

Several benefits come from obtaining a P visa. A P-visa allows the recipient to work legally in the United States for the sponsor of the visa. However, if you plan on changing jobs relatively soon, you must obtain a new visa. Another benefit is that P visas are usually issued rapidly and are granted for the time you need to complete your season, tour, or event, up to one year. If you are an athlete with a P-1 visa, you can be admitted for an initial period of up to five years with an extension of up to five years.

A P visa can be particularly beneficial if you plan on playing with a specific sports league for multiple seasons. With a P visa, you are allowed to travel in and out of the US or stay continuously up to the limit of the visa. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 can also obtain P-4 visas to accompany them to the U.S., but they cannot be employed.

Can an Attorney Help Me Obtain a P-Visa?

Working with an attorney can increase your likelihood of successfully obtaining a P visa. An attorney can ensure that you file a complete and thorough application for your visa with all the proper documentation. The attorneys at Ray Law International can help you determine whether a P visa or another type of visa is the best option for your needs and goals. Contact Ray law international today to schedule a no-cost consultation.