P-1A Visa for Internationally Recognized Foreign Athletes
The P-1A visa (a subcategory of the P visa) is meant for athletes that have reached internationally recognized level of performance coming to the U.S. to compete as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team. Their support staff also may enter the U.S. if their sole purpose is to participating in a specific competition. The term competition is a broad one, and includes an entire athletic season, as well as related activities.
Who Can Get a P-1A Visa
The athlete must be coming to the United States to participate in team events. The athlete must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The team must be “Internationally recognized,” which denotes that the athlete has achieved significant success in his or her sport such that he or she is renowned, leading, or well known in more than one country.
The application, Form I-129 must include the following documents:
The appropriate labor organization must provide a written consultation.
A copy of the contract 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 clear and definite explanation of the event and itinerary.
At least two of the following must be documented:
Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league
Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in international competition with a national team
Evidence of having participated to a significant extent 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 or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognize
A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international ranked
Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport
Family of P-1A Visa Holders
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.
Period of Stay
Individual Athlete - Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 5 years
Athletic Group - Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year
Essential Support Personnel - Time to complete the event, activity, or performance, may not exceed 1 year
Extension of Stay
Individual Athlete –Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance. Total stay is limited to 10 years.
Athletic Group – Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.
Essential Support Personnel - Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance. Total stay is limited to 10 years
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