How much does a P-1 visa cost?
The fee for filing Form I-129, required for all applicants except P-4 dependents, is $695. If you select premium processing, the fee is $1,440 (premium processing, when available, must be paid by the employer). The visa fee, required for both the principal applicant and all dependents, costs $190 per person. All told, the fee is $885 plus $190 for each dependent (without premium processing) and $2,325 plus $190 per dependent (with premium processing).
What is the processing time for a P-1 visa?
Generally speaking, it takes between three and six months to process a P-1 visa. If you select premium processing, however, you can probably reduce your wait to 15 days. If your petition is not decided one way or the other (acceptance or rejection) within 15 days, your premium processing fee will be refunded.
How long is a P-1 visa valid for?
The period of validity of a P-1 visa may vary:
- If you are coming to the US to participate in an athletic competition or entertainment performance, your period of stay will roughly coincide with the period of time you need to complete the event or activity. If you are coming for a two-month concert tour, for example, your visa will last for approximately two months.
- If you are an individual athlete, you can receive a visa valid for up to five years, extendable for up to another five years. No second extension is possible, although you might seek another immigration status such as lawful permanent resident.
- Members of teams are normally granted a maximum stay not to exceed one year, extendable for another one year.
- Essential personnel, such as coaches and managers, can receive one year for their initial period of stay, and up to 10 years of the total stay including extensions.
- Entertainers are generally given up to one year, extendable for at least one year or until their scheduled performance is complete.
Does the P-1 visa have portability?
Some types of US employment visas, such as H-1B visas, allow their holders to change jobs without obtaining a new visa. Such visas are said to have “portability.” Unfortunately, the P visas are not eligible for portability.
Although P visa holders can work for more than one employer at the same time, each employer must file their own I-129 petition. Moreover, if the P-1 visa holder wants to change jobs, the new sponsor must file a new P-1 visa petition.
What do essential support personnel have to prove?
To work for a P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa recipient in the US, you must be coming to the United States to perform essential support services that cannot be readily performed by a US worker. Your work must be an indispensable part of the performance of services to be performed. Band managers, team managers, and lighting and sound technicians are common examples.
Theoretically, you should be able to prove that your services are essential, although in practice the USCIS doesn’t always require this. It is also advantageous to present evidence of your prior skills and experience as well as your prior work with the primary P visa holder.
Can a P-1 visa get a green card?
The P visa is not considered a dual intent visa. This means that to receive a P visa, you must declare that you intend to return to your home country when your P visa expires. It is still possible to become a permanent resident starting from a P visa, however. Following are the four main pathways:
- Marry a US citizen and have your spouse sponsor you for permanent residence;
- Obtain sponsorship from a close family member who is a US citizen;
- Change your status to H-1B and use the H-1B’s dual intent provisions to apply for an employment-based green card.
- As an athlete, apply for an EB-1 or EB-2 green card based on extraordinary or exceptional ability. If you are a player in a major U.S. sports league you may qualify, although even playing for a major sports league might not be enough by itself to qualify for EB-1 status. Internationally recognized individual athletes often apply for the EB-1 status.
You need to be careful about transitioning from a P-1 visa to a green card because you can get into immigration trouble if you do it the wrong way. Consult an experienced immigration attorney for further details.