P-1 Visa For
Internationally Recognized Performance Groups
The P-1 visa is available to members of an internationally recognized entertainment group. The P-1Visa classification is applicable only to members of foreign-based entertainment groups, not individual entertainers.
The P-1 alien must be coming to perform. P-1 Visa classification is not appropriate for entertainers coming primarily to take part in other activities such as promotions and non-performing guest appearances. P-1Visa talent can do promotional work, however, it must be related to an actual event in which they are going to perform in the United States.
There is a P-1S visa that is available to support personnel such as sound technicians, managers, and other behind the scenes workers that provide essential services to P-1 performers.
To qualify for a P-1B visa, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
1. Be part of a performance group (2 or more people), and not an individual performer.
2. 75% of group members must be with the group for 1 year or more (though this requirement may be waivable in some circumstances)
3. Proof that the group has won or been nominated for a significant international award OR that the group meets 3 of the following criteria:
Evidence that the group has performed, and will perform, as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;
Evidence that the group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other published material;
Evidence that the group has performed, and will perform, services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
Evidence that the group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by such indicators as ratings; standing in the field; box office receipts; record, cassette, or video sales; and other achievements in the field as reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications;
Evidence that the group has achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field. Such testimonials must be in a form that clearly indicates the author's authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien's achievements; or
Evidence that the group has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to other similarly situated in the field as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
What documents can a performance group provide to meet these criteria?
Lead and Starring Role in Distinguished Productions or Events
Press about the group’s past performances at specific events
Advertising or promotional materials with the group’s name or image on them
National or International Recognition
Articles discussing the group’s awards, nominations, or other recognition
Each article must include English translation (if not in English), name of publication, name of article, date of publication, name of the author
Must provide circulation figures/viewership statistics for each publication along with background information about the publication
Lead and Critical Roles for Distinguished Organization
Press about the group’s past work with specific companies or organizations
Letters from former supervisors/colleagues attesting to the group’s duties and critical role within the organizations
Critical Acclaim and Commercial Success
Articles discussing the group’s awards, nominations, or other recognition; and/or
Articles stating box office figures, strong TV ratings information, sales information, sold out performances
Significant Recognition From Organizations Or Industry Experts
Proof of award/nominations or other recognition from organizations
Letters discussing the group’s awards, nominations, unique traits and any other achievements
Letters must come from “industry experts” with strong credentials in the industry
Letters must be accompanied with background information about the writers
Comparative information about earnings in the group’s field in their home country
Past or future contracts showing an income that is in the top 10% of earnings according to US Dept of Labor (ask an attorney)
Contracts or Pay stubs showing the group earned a high salary
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