P Outstanding Performer, Athletes, Entertainers Visa
The P visa category includes alien athletes who compete individually or as part of a team at an internationally recognized level and aliens who perform with or, are an integral and essential part of the performance of, an entertainment group that has received international recognition as “outstanding” for a “sustained and substantial period of time.” P visas require the presentation of an advisory opinion (unless a labor organization does not exist). P visas are usually approved for up to 1 year with 1year extensions. Individual athletes, however, can be approved for 5 years, with a 10 year limit.
For entertainment groups, at least 75% of the members of the group must have had a substantial relationship with the group for at least one year. Under applicable INS guidelines, international recognition can be established by:
1) The group’s nomination or receipt of significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in its field; or
2) At least three of the following types of documentation which establish that the entertainment group has:
a. Performed or will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events which have distinguished reputation (as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements)
b. That the group achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievements in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, etc.
c. That the group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation (as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, or testimonials)
d. That the group has a record of major or critically acclaimed successes (as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, record sales, etc.)
e. That the group achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field (such testimonials must clearly indicate the author’s authority, expertise, and knowledge of the group’s achievements)
f. Evidence that the group commands a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field (as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence)
Athletes need a tendered contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or documentation of at least two of the following:
1) Prior participation with a U.S. team
2) Participation in international competition with a national team
3) Participation in U.S. college intercollegiate competition
4) A statement from an official of the governing body of the sport
5) A statement from a recognized expert
6) International rankings
7) Significant honors or awards received by the individual or team.