Can I apply for a Green Card while on a P Visa?
Generally, foreign professional athletes, artists or entertainers, spend a significant amount of time living and working in the U.S. during the course of their careers.
These athletes, artists and entertainers are building personal assets, relationships and often raising their families here. Strategic immigration planning is important to ensure that individuals on P visas can remain in the United States, if desired, once they are no longer employed as an athlete, entertainer or artist.
Most P visa holders can apply for permanent residence in the United States. The P visa holder must maintain a permanent foreign residence, but may apply without jeopardizing his or her P status. This means that the P visa holder may submit a Labor Certification Application or an immigrant petition and remain in valid status. Submitting an LCA or an immigrant petition will not revoke a valid P visa, nor cause the rejection of an extension application or change of status application.
How do I obtain a U.S. Permanent Resident Green Card?
For most foreign-born professional athletes, Permanent Residence in the United States though a Green Card is generally obtained by applying in the employment-based preference category called EB-1. This is a category of U.S. Green Cards set aside by USCIS for workers with “extraordinary abilities” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.
EB-1 Extraordinary ability workers include immigrants who can demonstrate exceptional skill in a particular area, including academics (professors, researchers), business (executives, managers), arts, sciences, and athletics, among others. For more information on the EB-1 green card, please read more here.
What are the requirements for a P visa holder to obtain a Green Card?
To qualify, the athlete, artist or performer must be able to prove that during his or her career, he or she has been able to demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and achievements that are recognized in the field.
If you would like to apply for a U.S. Green Card, please contact our Los Angeles based immigration attorneys at JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office. We offer a free consultation and expert advice over the phone, via email, or in person!