P-1B Visa: Member of Entertainment Group

What is the P-1B visa and who may apply for it?

The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group.  Your entertainment group or company should have achieved international  recognition for various outstanding talents in the discipline.  This sort of international acclaim should have been established for a sustained and substantial period of time.

For additional information on who USCIS specifically defines as an artist or member of an entertainment group, read our article here.

An eligible individual must have had a substantial relationship with the group, typically for at least 1 year and/or provide functions integral to the entertainment group's performance.


Circus performer visa 2


I am a member of an international entertainment group. Am I Eligible for the P-1B Visa?

To be eligible for the P-1B visa, you must meet several requirements.

  • At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.
  • Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered.
  • The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.
  • Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.


If you need assistance in obtaining a P-1 visa, contact our experienced U.S. immigration lawyer now for a free consultation. We offer competitive rates and fast service!


Can USCIS waive the 1 year member relationship requirement?

Certain individuals may have the requirement that the member be involved with the entertainment group for 1 year waived by USCIS. This requirement may be waived in the following circumstances:

Alien Circus Personnel

Individuals coming to the United States to perform or work with a foreign national circus, who constitute an integral and essential part of the performance of such circus group. The circus must have been nationally recognized as an outstanding group for a substantial period of time.

Certain Nationally Known Entertainment Groups

Certain nationally recognized groups that are outstanding in their discipline for a sustained period of time. USCIS also considers special circumstances such as the group may have difficulty demonstrating recognition in more than one country due to such factors as limited access to news media or consequences of geography.

Exigent Circumstances

For a worker who replaces an essential member of a P-1 entertainment group who is unable to perform due to an illness or unanticipated circumstance or for a worker who augments the group by performing the critical role.


Circus performer visa


Are there any special provisions for nationally known entertainment groups and circuses?

Certain nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained amount of time in consideration of special circumstances.

Noncitizen circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt the one year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement. The noncitizen or noncitizens must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus.


Mexican Entertainer Visa


What are the USCIS P-1B Visa application requirements?

In most circumstances, solo entertainers cannot obtain a P-1 visa. Also, individual entertainers may not perform separate and apart from their group under the P-1B visa classification.

An entertainment group must consist of two or more persons who function as a group. If a solo artist typically performs with the same musicians or background singers, the act may still be considered to be an entertainment group.


Grammy-Statue-Photo US Visa options for entertainers


What documents must be submitted with a P-1B visa petition?

In addition to the general set of documents required for all P visa applicants, the following evidence must also be submitted:

  • evidence that the group has been established and performing regularly for at least 1 year;
  • a statement listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group;
  • evidence that the group is recognized internationally as outstanding for a sustained period of time demonstrated by receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes, or evidence of at least 3 of the following:
  1. the group has performed and will continue to perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in events or production with a distinguished reputation;
  2. 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;
  3. the group has and will continue to perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations with distinguished reputation, evidenced by newspapers, reviews, magazines or other publications;
  4. the group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed success, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, etc.
  5. the group has gained significant recognition for achievements from critics, organization, government agencies or other experts;
  6. the group commands a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to other similarly situated in the field, as evidence by contracts or other reliable evidence.


Card Holder


If you have additional questions about the P-1B visa or any other employment visa, please contact our experienced U.S. immigration attorneys now for a free consultation and begin your visa journey to the United States!

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