P1-B Visa (Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group)
Members of an Internationally recognized entertainment group who would like to come to the United States to perform may be eligible for a P1-B visa.
For more information about the P1-B visa, including whether your group qualifies and how to obtain one, get in touch with us today. Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
An Overview of the P1-B Visa?
The P1-B visa category applies to foreign nationals who are part of an internationally recognized entertainment group and intend to enter the United States to perform. It is a non-immigrant visa with a short validity period.
The entertainment group under the P1-B visa must have received international recognition in an outstanding discipline for a significant amount of time.
The P1-B visa does not apply to individual entertainers or solo artists but specifically to group performers. Individuals who intend to perform in the United States must qualify for the O1B visa.
- An Overview of the P1-B Visa?
- P1-B Visa Eligibility Criteria
- What a Sustained and Substantial Relationship Means
- What it Means to be Recognized Internationally
- Exceptions For Certain Entertainment Groups
- P1-B Visa Application Process
- Supporting Documents Needed for the P1-B Visa Application
- Evidence of International Recognition
- The P1-B Visa Fees
- How Long is the P1-B Visa Processing Time?
- How Long is the Visa Valid?
- Essential Support Personnel for the P1-B Visa Holder
- Family Members of P1-B Visa Holders
- Change in Employment on a P1-B Visa
- Are There Travel Restrictions on a P1-B Visa?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
P1-B Visa Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for the P1-B visa, an entertainment group must meet the following criteria:
- The group must have been established for a minimum of one year.
- At least 75 percent of the group members must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.
- The group must have been internationally recognized.
What a Sustained and Substantial Relationship Means
A sustained and substantial relationship implies that members of the entertainment group must have collaborated genuinely for at least one year, and each has provided in an integral way towards the group’s performance.
The entertainment group can have new members as long as each one is significantly participating in the group. However, at least 75 per cent must have had a long-standing relationship with the group.
What it Means to be Recognized Internationally
To be classified as having international recognition, the group must have had a high level of achievement in a field, as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above what is ordinarily encountered.
The group’s achievement must be renowned, leading, and well-known in more than one country.
The reputation of the group and not its members’ individual achievements or the acclaim of a particular production is what is essential when determining eligibility.
Exceptions For Certain Entertainment Groups
Foreign circus performers and their essential support personnel are exempt from the one-year and internationally recognized requirements if they are coming to the United States to join a nationally recognized circus.
Also, some entertainment groups, under special circumstances, may have the international recognition requirement waived if they can prove that they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in their discipline for a sustained amount of time.
P1-B Visa Application Process
The entertainment group cannot start the application process themselves. They must be sponsored by a U.S. employer, U.S. sponsoring organization, U.S. agent, or foreign employer through a U.S. agent.
Through the sponsor, the applicants will submit some documentation to the United States government.
The following steps outline how the application process will proceed:
- The sponsor will complete and submit Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant worker, along with an application fee and supporting documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- USCIS will send a confirmation to the sponsor or agent upon receipt of the application. They may request an interview or biometric service where applicable.
- Once USCIS approves the petition, the visa applicant must complete and submit Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application and pay the filing fee.
- The group will receive Form I-1797, Notice of Action, and attend a visa interview at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- After the visa interview, the group will receive a decision on their visa application.
Supporting Documents Needed for the P1-B Visa Application
All applicants for the P1-B visa will need to submit the following documents along with Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant worker;
- Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization describing the nature of the group’s activity in the United States or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year. This requirement is excused if no appropriate labor organization exists.
- Itinerary with the date and location of each performance.
- A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the entertainment group. If there’s no contract, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement will suffice.
- Evidence that the group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year.
- The petitioner’s statement listed each group member and the exact date they were employed.
- Evidence that the group is internationally recognized as outstanding in their discipline for a sustained and substantial period.
Evidence of International Recognition
To demonstrate that the entertainment group is recognised internationally for a sustained period of time, they must show evidence that they have been nominated for or have received significant international awards for outstanding achievements in their field.
Otherwise, the group will be required to provide at least three evidences that they:
- Performed or will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events that has earned a distinguished reputation from reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements.
- Achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in their field, as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other published material.
- Performed or will perform as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments with a distinguished reputation, as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials.
- Achieved major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, with evidence such as ratings, box office receipts, records, cassette or video sales, and other achievements reported in major publications.
- Received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field.
- Commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in their field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
The P1-B Visa Fees
To apply for the P1-B visa, sponsors and internationally recognised entertainment groups will need to pay the following fees:
- Filing form I-129: $460
- DS-160 application: $160
Other fees, such as those for medical exams (where necessary), biometrics, and visa issuance, will depend on the U.S. embassy or consulate that issues the visa.
How Long is the P1-B Visa Processing Time?
The total processing time for the P1-B visa can take between 3 to 6 months.
However, entertainment groups can apply to get their visa sooner by filing Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, and paying the premium processing fee of $2,500.
With the premium processing option, groups can get a decision on their visa within 15 days.
How Long is the Visa Valid?
The P1-B visa is granted for the time needed for the group to complete their event or performance. This initial period of stay is for a maximum of one year.
The visa can be extended by re-filing Form I-129 with the USCIS. Extensions will be granted if a group needs more time to finish their performance and can be granted for up to one year.
Essential Support Personnel for the P1-B Visa Holder
Essential support staff who play a crucial role in the entertainment group and whose duties cannot be performed by a U.S. worker can also apply for a P1-B visa. Essential personnel could include camera operators, stage personnel, and front office personnel.
The U.S. petitioner will need to file and submit a separate Form I-129 for the support staff along with the following documents:
- A consultation from an appropriate labor organization.
- A statement describing the support staff’s prior and current essential duties, critical skills, and experience with the entertainment group.
- A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support staff or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement.
Family Members of P1-B Visa Holders
P1-B visa holders may be able to bring their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 into the United States by applying for a P-4 visa.
This application can be made the same time the P1 visa holder applies for their visa or afterward.
P-4 visa holders will not be allowed to work or take up any form of employment while in the United States, but they may attend school or college.
Generally, P-4 visas are valid for the same period as the main P-1 visa category under which they were issued. Therefore, P-4 visas attached to P1-B visas will be valid for one year.
Change in Employment on a P1-B Visa
A P1-B visa holder can change employers, but only after the new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with the USCIS requesting to employ the applicant and extend their stay.
The Form I-129 must be approved before the P1-B visa holder can resume their new employment.
Additionally, the visa holder can work for more than one employer at the same time, provided that the employers each file a petition to the USCIS. However, all employers can file only one petition if they go through the same U.S. agent.
Are There Travel Restrictions on a P1-B Visa?
P1-B visa holders are not subject to any travel limitations. As long as their visa stamp and status are valid, P1-B entertainers, their essential support staff, and their dependents are permitted to travel freely within and outside of the United States.
How Can Total Law Help?
Our lawyers at Total Law are experts in U.S. immigration law and are fully accredited with the appropriate legal bodies.
We can help you determine if members of your entertainment group are eligible for the P1-B visa.
If your group is eligible, our immigration lawyers will guide you through the application process, including preparing a convincing petition, filing the appropriate documents, and paying the application fees at the right time.
Our lawyers will work with you closely throughout the entire journey and answer any questions you have regarding your application.
Call us on +1 844 290 6312 to find out how we can assist you with your U.S. visa application, or contact us online today.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, the P1-B visa is a nonimmigrant visa category. During the application, you will be required to declare that when you complete your activities in the United States, you will return to your home country or elsewhere abroad, where you maintain permanent residency.
However, you may be eligible to apply for a green card if your status changes while you are in the U.S. For instance, if you marry a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident or have a family member in the U.S., you can apply through them.
Also, if you change your status to an H1B visa, you might be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
If you are an entertainer or a support staff and your employment is terminated involuntarily while on a P1-B visa, your employer or U.S. petitioner will be required to cover your transportation cost back to your home country or country of residence.
While P-1A and P1-B visas are under the same P1 visa category, they have some differences.
The P-1A visa is for internationally recognized individuals or group athletes who intend to enter the United States temporarily to participate in an athletic event.
However, the P1-B visa is for internationally recognized entertainment groups who want to temporarily enter the United States to perform.