8 CFR Sec. 214.2(p) Artists, athletes, and entertainers
(i) General. Under section 101(a)(15)(P) of the Act, an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he or she has no intention of abandoning may be authorized to come to the United States temporarily to perform services for an employer or a sponsor. Under this nonimmigrant category, the alien may be classified under section 101(a)(15)(P)(i) of the Act as an alien who is coming to the United States to perform services as an internationally recognized athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group; under section 101(a)(15)(P)(ii) of the Act, who is coming to perform as an artist or entertainer under a reciprocal exchange program; under section 101(a)(15)(P)(iii) of the Act, as an alien who is coming solely to perform, teach, or coach under a program that is culturally unique; or under section 101(a)(15)(P)(iv) of the Act, as the spouse or child of an alien described in section 101(a)(15)(P)(i) , (ii) , or (iii) of the Act who is accompanying or following to join the alien. These classifications are called P-1, P-2, P-3, and P-4 respectively. The employer or sponsor must file a petition with the Service for review of the services to be performed and for determination of the alien's eligibility for P-1, P-2, or P-3 classification before the alien may apply for a visa or seek admission to the United States. This paragraph sets forth the standards and procedures applicable to these classifications. (Paragraph (p) revised 8/15/94; 59 FR 41818 - 41842)
(ii) Description of classification
(A) A P-1 classification applies to an alien who is coming temporarily to the United States:
(1) To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance, or
(2) To perform with, or as an integral and essential part of the performance of, an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as being outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time, and who has had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group (ordinarily for at least 1 year) and provides functions integral to the performance of the group.
(B) A P-2 classification applies to an alien who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or to perform as an integral part of the performance of such a group, and who seeks to perform under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the United States and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states, and which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers , or groups of artists and entertainers.
(C) A P-3 classification applies to an alien artist or entertainer who is coming temporarily to the United States, either individually or as part of a group, or as an integral part of the performance of the group, to perform, teach, or coach under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique.
(2) Filing of petitions --
(i) General . A P-1 petition for an athlete or entertainment group shall be filed by a United States employer, a United States sponsoring organization, a United States agent, or a foreign employer through a United States agent. For purposes of paragraph (p) of this section, a foreign employer is any employer who is not amenable to service of process in the United States. Foreign employers seeking to employ a P-1 alien may not directly petition for the alien but must use a United States agent. A United States agent petit ioning on behalf of a foreign employer must be authorized to file the petition, and to accept service of process in the United States in proceedings under section 274A of the Act, on behalf of the foreign employer. A P-2 petition for an artist or entertainer in a reciprocal exchange program shall be filed by the United States labor organization which negotiated the reciprocal exchange agreement, the sponsoring organization, or a United States employer. A P-3 petition for an artist or entertainer in a culturally unique program shall be filed by the sponsoring organization or a United States employer. Essential support personnel may not be included on the petition filed fo r the principal alien(s). These aliens require a separate petition. Except as provided for in paragraph (p)(2)(iv)(A) of this section, the petitioner shall file a P petition on Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the Service Center which has jurisdiction in the area where the alien will work. The petition may not be filed more than one year before the actual need for the alien's services. A P-1, P-2, or P-3 petition shall be adjudicated at the appropriate Service Center, even in emergency situations. (Amended effective 5/16/07; 72 FR 18856 )(Revised 4/16/97; 62 FR 18508 )
(ii) Evidence required to accompany a petition for a P nonimmigrant . Petitions for P nonimmigrant aliens shall be accompanied by the following:
(A) The evidence specified in the specific section of this part for the classification;
(B) Copies of any written contracts between the petitioner and the alien beneficiary or, if there is no written contract, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the alien(s) will be employed;
(C) An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities; and
(D) A written consultation from a labor organization.
(iii) Form of documentation . The evidence submitted with a P petition should conform to the following:
(A) Affidavits, contracts, awards, and similar documentation must reflect the nature of the alien's achievement and be executed by an officer or responsible person employed by the institution, establishment, or organization where the work was performed.
(B) Affidavits written by present or former employers or recognized experts certifying to the recognition and extraordinary ability, or, in the case of a motion picture or television production, the extraordinary achievement of the alien, which shall specifically describe the alien's recognition and ability or achievement in factual terms. The affidavit must also set forth the expertise of the affiant and the manner in which the affiant acquired such information.
(C) A legible copy of a document in support of the petition may be submitted in lieu of the original. However, the original document shall be submitted if requested by the Director.
(iv) Other filing situations --
(A) Services in more than one location . A petition which requires the alien to work in more than one location ( e.g., a tour) must include an itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances and must be filed with the Service Center which as jurisdiction in the area where the petitioner is located. The address which the petitioner specifies as its location on the petition shall be where the petitioner is located for purposes of this paragraph. (Paragraph (p)(2)(iv) revised 4/16/97; 62 FR 18508 )
(B) Servcies for more than one employer . If the beneficiary or beneficiaries will work for more than one employer within the same time period, each employer must file a separate petition with the Service Center that has jurisdiction over the area where the alien will perform the services, unless an agent files the petition pursuant to paragraph (p)(2)(iv)(E) of this section.
(C) Change of employer -
( 1 ) General . If a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien in the United States seeks to change employers or sponsors, the new employer or sponsor must file both a petition and a request to extend the alien's stay in the United States. The alien may not commence employment with the new employer or sponsor until the petition and request for extension have been approved.
( 2 ) Traded professional P-1 athletes . In the case of a professional P-1 athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, employment authorization for the player will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization is expected to file a new Form I-129 for P-1 nonimmigrant classification. If a new Form I-129 is not filed within 30 days, employment authorization will cease. If a new Form I-129 is filed within 30 days, the professional athlete sha ll be deemed to be in valid P-1 status, and employment shall continue to be authorized, until the petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization will cease.
(D) Amended petition . The petitioner shall file an amended petition, with fee, with the Service Center where the original petition was filed to reflect any material changes in the terms and conditions of employment or the beneficiary's eligibility as specified in the original approved petition. A petitioner may add additional similar or comparable performances, engagements, or competitions during the validity period of the petition without filing an amended petition.
(E) Agents as petitioners . A United States agent may file a petition in cases involving workers who are traditionally self-employed or workers who use agents to arrange short-term employment on their behalf with numerous employers, and in cases where a foreign employer authorizes the agent to act on its behalf. A United States agent may be: the actual employer of the beneficiary; the representative of both the employer and the beneficiary; or, a person or entity authorized by the employer to act for, or in place of, the employer as its agent. A petition filed by an United States agent is subject to the following conditions:
( 1 ) An agent performing the function of an employer must specify the wage offered and the other terms and conditions of employment by contractual agreement with the beneficiary or beneficiaries. The agent/employer must also provide an itinerary of definite employment and information on any other services planned for the period of time requested.
( 2 ) A person or company in business as an agent may file the P petition involving multiple employers as the representative of both the employers and the beneficiary or beneficiaries if the supporting documentation includes a complete itinerary of services or engagements. The itinerary shall specify the dates of each service or engagement, the names and addresses of the actual employers, the names and addresses of the establishment, venues, or locations where the services will be performed. In questionable cas es, a contract between the employer(s) and the beneficiary or beneficiaries may be required. The burden is on the agent to explain the terms and conditions of the employment and to provide any required documentation.
( 3 ) A foreign employer who, through a United States agent, files a petition for a P nonimmigrant alien is responsible for complying with all of the employer sanctions provisions of section 274A of the Act and 8 CFR part 274a .
(F) Multiple beneficiaries . More than one beneficiary may be included in a P petition if they are members of a group seeking classification based on the reputation of the group as an entity, or if they will provide essential support to P-1, P-2, or P-3 beneficiaries performing in the same location and in the same occupation.
(G) Named beneficiaries . Petitions for P classification must include the names of beneficiaries and other required information at the time of filing.
(H) Substitution of beneficiaries . A petitioner may request substitution of beneficiaries in approved P-1, P-2, and P-3 petitions for groups. To request substitution, the petitioner shall submit a letter requesting such substitution, along with a copy of the petitioner's approval notice, to the consular office at which the alien will apply for a visa or the Port-of-Entry where the alien will apply for admission. Essential support personnel may not be substituted at consular offices or at Ports-of-entry. In order to add additional new essential support personnel, a new I-129 petition must be filed with the appropriate Service Center.
(3) Definitions . As used in this paragraph, the term::
Arts includes fields of creative activity or endeavor such as, but not limited to, fine arts, visual arts, and performing arts.
Competition, event, or performance means an activity such as an athletic competition, athletic season, tournament, tour, exhibit, project, entertainment event, or engagement. Such activity could include short vacations, promotional appearances for the petitioning employer relating to the competition, event, or performance, and stopovers which are incidental and/or related to the activity. An athletic competition or entertainment event could include an entire season of performances. A group of related activities will also be considered an event. In the case of a P-2 petition, the event may be the duration of the reciprocal exchange agreement. In the case of a P-1 athlete, the event may be the duration of the alien's contract.
Contract means the written agreement between the petitioner and the beneficiary(ies) that explains the terms and conditions of employment. The contract shall describe the services to be performed, and specify the wages, hours of work, working conditions, and any fringe benefits.
Culturally unique means a style of artistic expression, methodology, or medium which is unique to a particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other group of persons.
Essential support alien means a highly skilled, essential person determined by the Director to be an integral part of the performance of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien because he or she performs support services which cannot be readily performed by a United States worker and which are essential to the successful performance of services by the P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien. Such alien must have appropriate qualifications to perform the services, critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed, and experience in providing such support to the P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien.
Group means two or more persons established as one entity or unit to perform or to provide a service.
Internationally recognized means having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that such achievement is renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country.
Member of a group means a person who is actually performing the entertainment services.
Sponsor means an established organization in the United States which will not directly employ a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien but will assume responsibility for the accuracy of the terms and conditions specified in the petition.
Team means two or more persons organized to perform together as a competitive unit in a competitive event.
(4) Petition for an internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group (P-1) --
(i) Types of classification
(A) P-1 classification as an athlete in an individual capacity. A P-1 classification may be granted to an alien who is an internationally recognized athlete based on his or her own reputation and achievements as an individual. The alien must be coming to the United States to perform services which require an internationally recognized athlete.
(B) P-1 classification as a member of an entertainment group or an athletic team. An entertainment group or athletic team consists of two or more persons who function as a unit. The entertainment group or athletic team as a unit must be internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline and must be coming to perform services which require an internationally recognized entertainment group or athletic team. A person who is a member of an internationally recognized entertainment group or athletic team may be granted P-1 classification based on that relationship, but may not pe rform services separate and apart from the entertainment group or athletic team. An entertainment group must have been established for a minimum of 1 year, and 75 percent of the members of the group must have been performing entertainment services for the group for a minimum of 1 year.
(ii) Criteria and documentary requirements for P-1 athletes
(A) General. A P-1 athlete must have an internationally recognized reputation as an international athlete or he or she must be a member of a foreign team that is internationally recognized. The athlete or team must be coming to the United States to participate in an athletic competition which has a distinguished reputation and which requires participation of an athlete or athletic team that has an international reputation.
(B) Evidentiary requirements for an internationally recognized athlete or athletic team. A petition for an athletic team must be accompanied by evidence that the team as a unit has achieved international recognition in the sport. Each member of the team is accorded P-1 classification based on the international reputation of the team. A petition for an athlete who will compete individually or as a member of a U.S. team must be accompanied by evidence that the athlete has achieved international recognition in the sport based on his or her reputation. A petition for a P-1 athlete or athletic team shall include:
(1) A tendered contract with a major United States sports league or team, or a tendered contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in that sport, if such contracts are normally executed in the sport, and
(2) Documentation of at least two of the following:
(i) Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league;
(ii) Evidence of having participated in international competition with a national team;
(iii) Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition;
(iv) A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
(v) A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how the alien or team is internationally recognized;
(vi) Evidence that the individual or team is ranked if the sport has international rankings; or
(vii) Evidence that the alien or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.
(iii) Criteria and documentary requirements for members of an internationally recognized entertainment group --
(A) General. A P-1 classification shall be accorded to an entertainment group to perform as a unit based on the international reputation of the group. Individual entertainers shall not be accorded P-1 classification to perform separate and apart from a group. Except as provided in paragraph (p)(4)(iii)(C)((2)) of this section, it must be established that the group has been internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. Seventy-five percent of the members of the group must have had a sustained and substantial relationship with the group for at least 1 year and must provide functions integral to the group's performance.
(B) Evidentiary criteria for members of internationally recognized entertainment groups. A petition for P-1 classification for the members of an entertainment group shall be accompanied by:
(1) Evidence that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least 1 year;
(2) A statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group; and
(3) Evidence that the group has been internationally recognized in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. This may be demonstrated by the submission of evidence of the group's nomination or receipt of significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in its field or by three of the following different types of documentation:
(i) Evidence that 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;
(ii) Evidence that 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;
(iii) Evidence that the group has performed, and will perform, services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
(iv) Evidence that the group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by such indicators as ratings; standing in the field; box office receipts; record, cassette, or video sales; and other achievements in the field as reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications;
(v) Evidence that the group has achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field. Such testimonials must be in a form that clearly indicates the author's authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien's achievements; or
(vi) Evidence that the group has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
(C) Special provisions for certain entertainment groups
(1) Alien circus personnel. The 1-year group membership requirement and the international recognition requirement are not applicable to alien circus personnel who perform as part of a circus or circus group, or who constitute an integral and essential part of the performance of such circus or circus group, provided that the alien or aliens are coming to join a circus that has been recognized nationally as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time or as part of such a circus.
(2) Certain nationally known entertainment groups . The Director may waive the international recognition requirement in the case of an entertainment group which has been recognized nationally as being outstanding in its discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time in consideration of special circumstances. An example of a special circumstance would be when an entertainment group may find it difficult to demonstrate recognition in more than one country due to such factors as limited access to news media or consequences of geography.
(3) Waiver of 1-year relationship in exigent circumstances. The Director may waive the 1-year relationship requirement for an alien who, because of illness or unanticipated and exigent circumstances, replaces an essential member of a P-1 entertainment group or an alien who augments the group by performing a critical role. The Department of State is hereby delegated the authority to waive the 1-year relationship requirement in the case of consular substitutions involving P-1 entertainment groups.
(iv) P-1 classification as an essential support alien
(A) General. An essential support alien as defined in paragraph (p)(3) of this section may be granted P-1 classification based on a support relationship with an individual P-1 athlete, P-1 athletic team, or a P-1 entertainment group.
(B) Evidentiary criteria for a P-1 essential support petition. A petition for P-1 essential support personnel must be accompanied by:
(1) A consultation from a labor organization with expertise in the area of the alien's skill;
(2) A statement describing the alien(s) prior essentiality, critical skills, and experience with the principal alien(s); and
(3) A copy of the written contract or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement between the alien(s) and the employer.
This information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.