Complete Guide to Apply P1 and P2 visas

August 1, 2022 by Aleksandra Wagrowska

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What Is a P1 Visa

Before going into more detail, we need to establish what a P1 visa is. Simply put, P1 visas are U.S. visas that foreign athletes can apply for in order to participate in sports competitions. They can do so alone or with a team. In addition, the level of performance must also be internationally recognized. In addition, P1 visas can also be obtained by support staff or coaches of sportsmen.

Types of P1 Visas

There are two types of P1 visas that can be obtained depending on your situation and reason for traveling to the US: P-1A and P-1B.

The P-1A classification applies to applicants interested in coming temporarily to the United States solely for the purpose of performing at a specific athletic competition. P-1A applies to you if you are: 

  • An individual athlete at an internationally recognized level of performance;
  • Part of a group or team at an internationally recognized level of performance;
  • A professional athlete; or
  • An athlete or coach, as part of a team or franchise that is located in the United States and a member of a foreign league or association.

P-1B classification applies if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group. Similarly, the group must be internationally recognized and active for at least a year before. 

Who Is Eligible for a P1 Visa

For the P1 visa, professional athletes who have earned international recognition are eligible, as well as coaches, and support staff of an athlete holding this visa.

Members of entertainment groups who have been in a relationship with other team members for at least a year are also eligible.

How to Apply for a P1 Visa

The first thing to remember is that in order to be accepted, special documentation must be submitted.

All P1 visa applicants need a general set of documents that will determine whether or not they qualify for a visa. You will need a contract with a United States-based sports team or league. The set of documents you need to obtain a vis can be found on the USCIS website.

For a P1-A visa, go to the following page.

For all information regarding the P1-B visa, go to this link.

How Much Does a P1 Visa Cost

The cost of the P1 visa is $190, but this is not the only fee. Before an athlete can apply for a P1 visa, a U.S. sponsor or employer must file an I-129 form with the USCIS, which must also be paid for. The fee is $460. In view of the above, the total cost is $650. 

If you want more precise information on fees, contact USCIS or a legal specialist. 

P1 Visa Processing Time

Once you apply for a visa, the waiting time for a decision sniffs between 3 and 6 months. However, in some situations premium processing is available and you can get it much faster, but you will have to pay extra for it. You will receive an answer after 15 days, and the fee, however, exceeds $ 2,500.

Alternatives to a P1 Visa

In case you do not qualify for a P1 visa because you are not a professional athlete, you can get an H-2B visa. If you don’t have enough achievements to get a P1 visa, then the H-2B will be an option. At the same time, the B-2 visa will allow amateur athletes to travel to the U.S. for amateur events since P1 visas are not available to them. 

What Is a P2 Visa

A P2 visa is a sort of travel document issued to artists and entertainment groups, as well as their personnel. The visa allows them to perform in the United States as part of an exchange program between another country and the US.

Individuals arriving in the U.S. on this visa stay in the U.S. for as long as necessary, i.e. until the completion of the performance, competition, or event, but no longer than one year. Importantly, however, you can extend your stay for up to one year if you still need time to complete the event.

Benefits of a P2 Visa

If you have a valid visa, you can easily travel to and from the United States. You can travel freely and fulfill all your artistic projects.

Who Is Eligible for a P2 Visa

As with applying for a P1-A or P1-B visa, certain requirements must be met for a P2 visa. For actual information on the necessary documents, it is best to visit the USCIS website

How to Apply for a P2 Visa

To apply for a visa, your agent, employer or sponsor must complete and sign Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. After completing the application and paying the fees, you can track the status of your case. 

After you submit your application, your sponsor, agent or employer will also receive a few things, including a biometric services notice, if applicable, a receipt acknowledging receipt of your petition, a USCIS decision notice, and a notice to appear for an interview, if necessary.

P2 Visa Required Documents

To apply for a P2 visa, you need to provide certain documents. One of the documents you must provide is the I-129 form. Along with this form, you must also bring:

  • A copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the foreign country organization(s) and the sponsoring U.S. organization(s) that will host the entertainer or artist.
  • Written consultation with relevant labor organizations.
  • Proof that you and the entertainer or artist in the exchange agreement are artists who have good, comparable skills, and that there is a similarity in terms and conditions of employment.
  • A statement from the organization that acts as sponsor describing the reciprocal exchange of U.S. artists or entertainers with respect to the petition for which classification is needed.
  • Proof that the relevant U.S. labor organization has participated in negotiations for the reciprocal exchange or has agreed to an exchange between foreign and U.S. artists or entertainers.
  • Note that an itinerary may also be necessary if performances or events will take place in more than one location.

P2 Visa Cost

If you want to apply for a P2 visa, you will have to pay an application fee of $460. However, for premium process you will have to pay in total $2,960.

P2 Visa Processing Time

Typically, the entire P2 visa application process takes 90 days. Remember, however, if you need to go before a specific date, you should apply as soon as possible.

Conclusion 

The P-1 visa is a specialty U.S. visa exclusively for athletes (or other entertainers) and their coaches or support staff. P2 is a variation of the P1 visa and is designed for artists and entertainers who are engaged in reciprocal cultural exchange programs

FAQs

  • What are P1 and P2 visas in the USA?

    The P1 visa is generally made available to internationally known athletes, individually or as part of a group or team, and entertainment groups. Individual athletes, athletic teams, and entertainment groups generally must meet the basic standard of international recognition. The P2 visa is reserved for artists and entertainers who perform individually or as part of a group, pursuant to a reciprocal exchange program between one or more U.S. organizations and one or more such organizations in other countries that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.
  • What are P1 and P2 visa requirements?

    To apply for a P1 visa, you must meet the following requirements: P1-A. Athletes and sports teams You must be internationally recognized in your sport and must come to the U.S. to perform services that require such recognition. You must provide proof of a legitimate contract with a major U.S. sports league or sports organization and provide proof of at least two of the following: Significant participation in a major U.S. sports league in previous seasons Participation in international competitions with the national team Significant participation in intercollegiate competition at a U.S. college/university in the previous season A written statement from a major U.S. sports league or an official of the sport’s governing body confirming international recognition of the foreigner or team A written statement from the sports media or a recognized expert International ranking provided by internationally recognized sports organizations Significant honors/awards in the sport in question P1-B. Artists and entertainment groups Your group’s achievements must be internationally recognized, and the group must come to the U.S. to perform services that require such recognition. You must provide proof of a legal contract with a U.S. employer or agent and prove that: The proposed services in the United States require an internationally recognized entertainment group Seventy-five percent of your group’s members have had a sustained and significant relationship with the group for at least one year and perform functions integrally related to the group’s performances Your group has received significant international awards or honors, or nominations for its outstanding performance In addition to the above requirements, your group must provide proof of at least three of the following conditions: Your group has performed or will perform as a star or leading entertainment group in events of outstanding reputation Your group has received international fame and recognition for outstanding achievements Your group has performed and will perform as a leading or star group for an organization or institution of outstanding reputation Your group has achieved major commercial success or has received critical acclaim Your group is highly regarded for its achievements by organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts Your group has received or will receive a high salary or other significant compensation comparable to others in a similar situation For a P2 visa, the following requirements must be met in order to apply: Artists and entertainers You must come to the U.S. to perform as an entertainer or artist individually or as a member of a group under a reciprocal exchange program with a U.S.-based organization. You must prove that: There is an exchange program between a U.S. organization and a foreign organization The people participating in the exchange program are of equal caliber and will be employed under similar conditions for a similar period of time You are highly experienced and have skills comparable to those of U.S. entertainers or artists in the reciprocal program Relevant labor organization is involved in the negotiation of the reciprocal exchange program. Necessary accompanying persons U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also makes the P2 visa available to support persons based on the support relationship with P2 entertainers and entertainment groups. To qualify for a P2 visa for a support person, you must prove that: You are an integral part of the P2 artist’s or entertainer’s performance because you are performing support services that cannot be performed by U.S. employees but are essential to the successful performance of the services, and You are qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced in providing support services to artists and entertainers.
  • What are P1 and P2 visa benefits?

    The biggest advantage is that your dependents can stay with you as long as you maintain P1 status. Additionally, in the case of children, they can also attend school. You can travel freely to and from the US with a valid visa. With a P2 visa, your dependents can stay with you as long as you maintain your P2 status. As in the previous case, your dependents can also attend school here, and you can travel freely to and from the US as long as you have a valid visa.
  • What are P1 and P2 visa fees?

    For the P1 visa, the fees are: Filing Fee – Regular $460 Filing Fee – Premium in total $2,960 (regular fee $460 plus $2,500 premium processing fee) VisaPro Processing Time4 business days For the P2 visa, the fees are: Filing Fee – Regular $460 VisaPro Processing Time4 business days
  • What are P1 and P2 applying processes?

    Procedures for applying for a P1 or P2 visa include: 1. Filing a petition (Form I-129) with USCIS to obtain approval to employ a foreign national with a temporary visa. The employer may file the visa petition before the scheduled event, competition, or performance. 2. Before a petition can be approved, the consultation requirement must be met; the law requires the submission of an advisory opinion from a labor organization with experience in the foreigner’s specific field. The petition can demonstrate that no such labor organization exists. 3. A visa petition may be filed for multiple foreigners with a visa if they are members of a group or team seeking classification based on the group’s or team’s reputation as a unit. 4. Essential support personnel may not be included in the same petition as the main foreigner or group applying for the visa. Separate petitions must be filed for support personnel. 5. Substitution of foreigners is allowed in the visa category after approval of the petition, but only for teams or groups. Substitution is not allowed for individual principal foreigners or support personnel in the visa category. 6. Once the petition is approved, the foreigner must take the petition approval notice to the U.S. consulate to apply for a visa.