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:
At least two of the following must be documented:
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.
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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