P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete

What is a P-1A?

A P-1A is a nonimmigrant classification for certain athletes. A foreign national athlete coming to the U.S. to compete/perform individually or as part of a team may obtain an P-1A if they are competing at an internationally recognized level of performance.

P-1A Basics

A U.S. employer or agent must file the P-1A on behalf of the foreign national and an agent may represent more than one employer. An individual athlete may obtain an initial approval for up to five years with a potential extension of an additional five years. Approvals are not to exceed ten years. However, an athletic group may receive an approval for no more than one year at a time. Of course, whether it is an individual athlete or an athletic group, the period of stay authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) shall be limited to the time required to complete the event, competition or performance.

What about Support Staff?

If the performance of a P-1A athlete or team requires individuals who are an integral part of the performance, event or competition, these essential support personnel may also be eligible for their own P-1 classification. Essential support personnel may include, but are not limited to, trainers, coaches and referees.

Certain Immediate Family Members May Obtain Dependent Status

Dependents of a P-1A (spouse and children) may obtain P-4 status. Dependents are not employment authorized but they may choose to study while in the U.S.

Speak with an Immigration Attorney

Sunil C. Patel Immigration Law has extensive experience in assisting employment based nonimmigrant athletes. We are committed to honest, cost-effective immigration advice and services in every case. Contact us for more information about how we can assist you.