Turn to the immigration consultations at Pilkington Immigration to assist with acquiring your P visa in Ottawa, ON. Your dedicated consultant understands the ins and outs of this program, so you receive the guidance you need. We are able to offer help with this visa as well as other US visas. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
What is the P-1 Visa Classification?
The P-1 classification applies to individuals coming to the US temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance. The P-1 visa duration is typically based on the length of the planned performance or the competition schedule. The maximum initial stay allowed is up to 5 years, but it may be extended by up to 5 additional years, making the maximum 10 years total.
Requirements for Individuals
As an individual, you must be coming to the United States to participate in an individual event, competition, or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.
Requirements for Teams
For teams, you must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.
It is necessary to have either 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 or documentation of at least two of the following:
- 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 the national team
- Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a US 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 recognized
- 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 rankings
- Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport
P-2 Visas: Participants in Reciprocal Exchange Programs
P-2 visas are available to artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, who come to the US to perform under a reciprocal exchange program between the US and one or more other countries. All essential support personnel are included. The applicant must prove the program's legitimacy by presenting a written exchange agreement. In addition, a labor union in the US must have either been involved in the exchange negotiation or have agreed to it. The US individual or group being exchanged must have skills and terms of employment comparable to the person or group coming to the United States.
P-3 Visas: Culturally Unique Groups
P-3 visas are available to artists or entertainers who come to the US, either individually or as part of a group, to develop, interpret, represent, teach, or coach in a program that is considered culturally unique. The program may be of either a commercial or non-commercial nature. The P-3 applicant must be coming to the US to participate in a cultural event or events that will further the understanding or development of an art form. In addition, the employer will have to submit the following on the applicant's behalf:
- Statements from recognized experts showing the authenticity of the person or group’s skills in performing, presenting, coaching, or teaching the unique or traditional art form and showing the basis of knowledge of the person or group’s skill, or
- Evidence that the person or group’s art form is culturally unique, as shown by reviews in newspapers, journals, or other published materials, and that the performance will be culturally unique.
Essential support personnel of P-3 aliens should also request classification under the P-3 category. The documentation for P-3 support personnel should include:
- A consultation from a labor organization with expertise in the area of the applicant’s skill
- A statement describing why the support person has been essential in the past, critical skills and experience with the principal applicant, and
- A copy of the written contract or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement between the applicant and the employer.
Support Personnel for P-1, P-2, and P-3 Visa Holders
Highly skilled, essential persons who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holder may also be granted P visas (with the same visa designation as the primary visa holder). These persons must perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a US worker and are essential to the successful performance of services by the P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holder. The support person must have appropriate qualifications to perform the services, critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed, and experience in providing such support to the P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holder.