The United States offers an ocean of opportunities for athletes and entertainers of the foreign countries to make the most of their talents. The US immigration services provide a special but temporary employment visa for internationally recognized athletes, entertainers, and artists. This particular category of visa is known as the ‘P’ visa.
The P visa is categorized into two types: P-1A visa and P-1B visa. While the P-1A visa is reserved for highly talented athletes, the P-1B visa is applicable for the world-renowned entertainment groups. If you are a member of an entertainment group that is internationally recognized for its exceptional performance in a particular discipline for a certain period of time, you can get a P-1B visa and come to the US to perform with your group.
Eligibility Criteria for P-1B Visa
Individual entertainers who do not perform as a part of a group are not eligible for the P-1B visa. For a person to be eligible for the P-1B visa, at least 75 percent of the members of the group to which he or she belongs should be a part of the group for at least one year. Also, the group should be recognized worldwide. It should be highly acclaimed for its above-the-ordinary achievements in the particular field. In short, the achievements of the group as a whole, and not that of a particular member of the group, are essential to obtain a P-1B visa by the group members.
Special Provisions for P-1B Visa
There is an exception to the rule that a member has to be a part of the group for one year, and this exception applies to circus performers and important personnel. But he or she should be entering the US to join a nationally recognized circus.
The US immigration services can also waive off the requirement of international recognition for some nationally recognized entertainment groups. However, the group has to prove that it has gained recognition at the national level for its outstanding performance for a certain period of time.
Application for the P-1B Visa
To get the P-1B visa, the US employer of your group should submit the following:
·Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker along with supporting documents and appropriate fee.
·A consultation from a valid labor organization about the kind of work the group will do or a statement that will prove that the group is established and is performing for at least one year on a regular basis.
After the approval of the visa petition, you can apply at a US embassy or consulate for the visa.
Period of Stay and Extension of Stay
The initial period of stay is the time required to complete performing at the event or performance. However, this time bracket should not exceed a year. But if the event is not completed within the stipulated time period, the group can apply for an extension of up to one more year. This can be done by submitting Form I-129.
Change of Employer
You can change employers only if your new employer files Form I-129 with the USCIS with a request to employ you and extend your stay. Till the time the USCIS approves the Form I-129, you will not be able to start working with the new employer.
Family Members of the P-1B Visa Holders
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can accompany you to the United States by obtaining a P-4 visa. They will stay in the US as your dependents and your children can attend school and college in the US.
The P visa is a relatively simple process as compared to the other types of US immigration services because it is valuable for the country to bring renowned entertainers to perform in the country. But there are certain legal tweaks as well, so it is best to seek help from an expert immigration attorney.