Definition of Athlete and Entertainer for P-1 Visa

Who does USCIS define as an "athlete" for purposes of a P Visa?

A person who wishes to qualify as a P-1 athlete must be able to prove that they have an internationally recognized reputation in the sport. A team is required to show their international reputation as well. All applicants should also provide a copy of a valid contract with a major U.S. sports league, team, or international sporting event.

The team or athlete should also prove at least two of the following:

  • proof of the applicant's or team’s previous significant participation with a major U.S. sports league
  • proof of participation in an international competition with a national team
  • proof of previous significant participation with a U.S. college in intercollegiate competition
  • a written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or the governing body of the sport, explaining exactly how the person or team is internationally recognized
  • a written statement from the sports media or a recognized expert regarding the person's or team's international recognition
  • evidence that the person or team is internationally ranked,
  • proof that the person or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.


What is the definition of an “Entertainer” to qualify for a P-1B Visa

Spice Girls


P-1 visas are available only to members of groups that have an international reputation. Unfortunately, the P-1 visa is not an option for individual entertainers. The applying entertainment group must have performed regularly for at least one year. Additionally, 75% of its members must have been performing with that group for at least a year.

The U.S. employer will have to supply proof of the group’s sustained international recognition when they file a petition on the applicant's behalf. USCIS usually wants the employer to show that a significant international award or prize has been awarded, or that the group was nominated for such an award. In the absence of this type of honor or award, USCIS will accept other proof of international acclaim.

If you are unsure as to whether you may qualify for a P-1B visa as an entertainer, contact our Los Angeles immigration attorney now for a free consultation.


How can I show that I have received international acclaim for a P-1B visa?

P-1B Visa


The employer should be able to provide at least three of the following:

  • proof that the group has or will star or take a leading role in productions or events with distinguished reputations
  • reviews or other published material showing that the group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in the field
  • proof that the group has and will star or take a leading role in productions or events for organizations with distinguished reputations
  • proof of large box office receipts or ratings showing the group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes
  • proof that the group has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts,
  • proof that the group commands a high salary or other substantial remuneration.

US Immigration Forms


What evidence is required to apply for a P-1B Visa with USCIS?

Asdditionally, evidence is required that the group has been internationally recognized in the discipline for a substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of the group's receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards.

Read more about the P-1B visa for Members of Entertainment Groups here.

The group may also prove this by showing evidence of at least 3 of the following:

  • The group has and will perform as a starring entertainment group in events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, publicity releases, or endorsements;
  • The group has achieved international recognition for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, magazines or other published material;
  • The group has and will perform services as a starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.


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