P-1A Visa for Internationally Recognized Professional Athletes

The P-1 classification is for professional athletes to come to the U.S. temporarily to perform or compete at a specific athletic competition, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.

Application Process

The petition for a P-1A visa is filed by a U.S. employer on a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. Supporting documents include the following:

  1. A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  2. A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport
  3. An explanation of the event and itinerary and
  4. 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 to a significant extent 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 a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
  • A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
  • Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings
  • Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport

This is a temporary, employment-based visa category.  Each athlete may be permitted up to 5 years for each visit, renewable in 5 year increments. Total maximum limit in the United States is 10 year.

Alison Yew is an experienced P-1A visa lawyer in San Jose and has successfully assisted numerous athletic clubs and teams to bring professional athletic talents to compete in the United States, including table tennis, tennis, polo, golf, badminton, and gymnasts athletes. Please contact us for an evaluation and to discuss your qualifications under the P-1A visa category.