P Visa Requirements for Athletes

P visa requirements are fairly straightforward.  This visa category is for professional  athletes, certain amateurs, essential support personnel, spouses, and children of P-1 visa holders. The purpose of the P visa category is to allow a foreign national athlete to come to the United States temporarily to perform as an athlete. P visas are also for those athletes who want to live in the U.S. full-time or earn an income other than prize money.action-1834465_1920-150x150 P Visa Requirements for Athletes

 P Visa Requirements for Professional Athletes 

A professional athlete is eligible for a P-1A visa if he or she is:

  • Internationally recognized”– this means that the athlete is renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country because of an  extraordinary high level of  achievement;
  • Seeking to enter the U.S.  solely to perform– performance includes competing, appearing at an event, promotional appearances, short vacations,  and, incidental stopovers;
  • Maintaining a foreign residence abroad–  the athlete must have a foreign residence abroad that he or she does not intend to abandon.

P Visa Requirements for Amateurs

The P visa category has been expanded to include amateurs, under the 2006 COMPETE Act. An amateur is one who does not normally receive compensation for his or her performance.

The amateur can either be “internationally recognized” or be a member of a foreign league or association  if that organization is  the highest level of amateur performance of that sport in that country.

Length of Stay

P-1 athletes may be admitted for up to five years with an extension up to five years. However, the visa is usually issued for the length of the season or contract.

Sports Visa Attorney

Cheryl Fletcher is a sports immigration attorney who assists foreign athletes with their visa applications. If you meet the P visa requirements, she will complete the application form and a put together a comprehensive application package to improve your chances of getting the visa.  Please call  561-507-5772, email: [email protected], or contact us via or contact form.