The most renowned performers (musicians, dancers, speakers, athletes, etc.) qualify for an O-1 visa. The O-1 visa criteria is extraordinary ability. Most of performers do not meet this requirement but their services are in need in the US. There is lesser category for that, which is P-1A and P-1B visas.
P-1A is for the athletes but the P-1B visa is designed for entertainers.
Who qualifies for the P-1B visa?
The main requirement is International acclaim. There are many ways to show international recognition. It is not easy to put a package together even if performers are clearly famous in their country.
How long does it take to process the documents?
The process can be done in 3 weeks if everything goes smoothly. There could be complications on the way, such as difficulties obtaining Advisory Opinions and risks of getting requests for additional evidence from USCIS.
How to Demonstrate International Recognition?
This requirements can be shown by providing evidence that the group was nominated for significant international awards, that it received international awards or prizes. The alternative is to show that the group performs a leading critical role in the performances, it performs for a prestigious organization, has a great commercial success in the home country and internationally, has been recognized by experts/critics in the field, and makes lots lots of money.
How to reschedule a performance after P-1B visa is approved?
An amended petition needs to be filed to properly reflect the change in itinerary. If more concerts are added and more validity time is needed before the performers entered the US, an amended petition needs to be filed. However, if more time to perform is needed after the musicians are in the US, an extension of status petition is required.
Can the performers’ spouses enter the US?
Yes, there is a special visa P-4 for dependent of principal visa holders (spouse and kids under 21) that may enjoy the benefits of the P-1B visa. The spouse and kids can enter the US and stay for as long as the visa is valid. They may attend the performances or may travel in America without any limitations. An separate interview at a US embassy will be required to obtain a dependent P-4 visa.
Please reach out to us with questions about P1A visas. You can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or we can be reached on 202.367.9138 phone number. We advice our clients to start the process of obtaining proper visas as early as 6-8 months before the performances are scheduled.