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P1 Visas for Entertainment Groups

The P visa is issued to international athletes who wish to come to the United States to perform in high level athletic competition (P-1A); and to members of internationally recognized entertainment groups who wish to perform in the United States (P-1B). The P-1A visa is more fully discussed in another article. The P1B visa application must be recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. The individual must also have a substantial relationship with the group for at least one (1) year and/or provide function(s) integral to the group’s performance.

The petition must be filed by a United States employer. This is an important concept. The foreign national must be sponsored by their employer. The petition must contain the following:

  1. A written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization
  2. A statement that the entertainment group has been established and has performed regularly for at least one (1) year
  3. Evidence that the group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time, which is proven by the group’s receipt of or nomination for a significant international award and/or prize for outstanding achievement, or evidence of at least three (3) of the following:
    1. 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;
    2. 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;
    3. The group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications or testimonials;
    4. The group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications;
    5. The individual has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which he/she is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author’s authority, expertise and knowledge of the individual’s achievements; or
    6. The group has commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services compared to others similarly situated in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

As with the P1 visas for athletes, support personnel may petition to accompany the entertainer. The support personnel must be highly skilled and coming temporarily to the U.S. as an essential and integral part of the performance. The foreign national must perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a worker from the United States, and their services must be essential to the successful performance of the entertainer.

To discuss the P-1B Visa and to determine whether your entertainment group may qualify for the visa, please contact Tanner Law Offices, LLC at 717-836-0471 to schedule a consultation.