1. Description of P classification
- P-1 classification applies to an alien who is coming temporarily to the United States:
- To perform at specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level or performance.
- To perform with, or as an integral and essential part of the performance of, an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as being outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time, and who has had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group (ordinarily for at least 1 year) and provides functions integral to the performance of the group.
- An essential support worker for the athlete or entertainment group
- P-2 classification applies to an alien who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or to perform as an integral part of the performance of such a group, and who seeks to perform under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the United States and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states, and which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers, or groups of artists and entertainers.
- P-3 classification applies to an alien artist or entertainer who is coming temporarily to the United States, either individually or as part of a group, or as an integral part of the performance of the group, to perform, teach, or coach under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique.
- “Internationally recognized” means having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that such achievement is renowned, leading, or well- known in more than one country.
2. Filing of P petitions (employer/agent required)
P-1 petition for an athlete or entertainment group must be filed by a United States employer, a United States sponsoring organization, a United States agent, or a foreign employer through a United States agent. This person is called the “petitioner.”
A P-2 petition for an artist or entertainer in a reciprocal exchange program must be filed by the United States labor organization which negotiated the reciprocal exchange agreement, the sponsoring organization, or a United States employer. A P-3 petition for an artist or entertainer in a culturally unique program must be filed by the sponsoring organization or a United States employer.
3. Evidence required for a P nonimmigrant application
- Copies of any written contracts between the petitioner and the alien beneficiary or, if there is no written contract, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the alien(s) will be employed;
- An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities; and
- A written consultation from a labor organization, if such an organization exists.
- Proof that the applicant meets the requirement for the particular P Classification. For example:
ATHLETES: A petition for an athlete who will compete individually or as a member of a U.S. team must be accompanied by evidence that the athlete has achieved international recognition in the sport based on his or her reputation. A petition for a P-1 athlete or athletic team shall include:
(1) A tendered contract with a major United States sports league or team, or a tendered contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in that sport, if such contracts are normally executed in the sport, and
(2) 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 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 the governing body of the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
- Evidence that the individual or team is ranked if the sport has international rankings; or
- Evidence that the alien or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.
ENTERTAINMENT GROUPS: A petition for P-1 classification for the members of an entertainment group shall be accompanied by:
(1) Evidence that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least 1 year;
(2) A statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group; and
(3) Evidence that the group has been internationally recognized in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. This may be demonstrated by the submission of evidence of the group’s nomination or receipt of significant international awards or prices for outstanding achievement in its field or by three of the following different types of documentation:
- Evidence that the group has performed, and will perform, as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;
- Evidence that the group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other published material;
- Evidence that the group has performed, and will perform, services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
- Evidence that the group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by such indicators as ratings; standing in the field; box office receipts; record, cassette, or video sales; and other achievements in the field as reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications;
- Evidence that the group has achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field. Such testimonials must be in a form that clearly indicates the author’s authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien’s achievements; or
- Evidence that the group has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to other similarly situated in the field as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
P-1 ESSENTIAL SUPPORT WORKER: A petition for P-1 essential support personnel must be accompanied by:
(1) A consultation from a labor organization with expertise in the area of the alien’s skill;
(2) A statement describing the alien(s) prior essentiality, critical skills, and experience with the principal alien(s); and
(3) A copy of the written contract or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement between the alien(s) and the employer.
4. Validity Dates
- P-1 petition for athletes: An approved petition for an individual athlete can be valid for a period up to 5 years. An approved petition for an athletic team can be valid for a period of time determined by the government that is necessary to complete the competition or event for which the alien team is being admitted, not to exceed 1 year.
- P-1 petition for an entertainment group. An approved petition for an entertainment group can be valid for a period of time determined by the government that is necessary to complete the performance or event for which the group is being admitted, not to exceed 1 year.
- P-2 and P-3 petitions for artists or entertainers. An approved petition for an artist or entertainer under section P-2 or P-3 can be valid for a period of time determined by the government that is necessary to complete the event, activity, or performance for which the P-2 or P-3 alien is admitted, not to exceed 1 year.
- Essential support aliens. Petitions for essential support personnel to P-1, P-2, and P-3 aliens shall be valid for a period of time determined by the government that is necessary to complete the event, activity, or performance for which the P-1, P- 2, or P-3 alien is admitted, not to exceed 1 year.
5. Spouse and dependents
The spouse and unmarried minor children of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien beneficiary are entitled to P-4 nonimmigrant classification, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the alien beneficiary, if they are accompanying or following to join the alien beneficiary in the United States. Neither the spouse nor a child of the alien beneficiary may accept employment.