The P-1B visa in a non-immigrant visa which provides temporary residency to internationally recognised performers. This visa is suitable for those coming to the United States for competitions and performances. The P-1B visa applies to members of an entertainment group who are visiting the United States for some demonstrations. The P-1B visa is not valid to individual performers. These performers must be coming to the United States to perform in a specific event or events. The event or events should be of a distinguished nature and not of a merely commercial character. – The alien must be coming to the United States to participate in a specific event.

There are some other categories under the P-1 visa which would allow individual performers, athletes and others to apply for temporary residency in order to visit the United States for competitions or performances. But, all P-1 visa categories require international recognitions.

P-1B visa is a type of temporary employment visa of the United States, issued to alien athletes, artists, performers and entertainers, and their spouses and children.

Source: U.S. Department of State

To be eligible for a P-1B visa, the applicant must demonstrate:

  • At least 75% of the members of the performing group have had a “substantial and sustained” connection with the group for at least 1 year. But Circus performers and personnel are excused from this one-year requirement.
  • The group must be well recognized, having achieved substantial achievement in the relevant area. Some of the requirements can be exempted if the performing group has been recognized as nationally exceptional in its field for a great amount of time.
  • The group must have reputation as a whole or as a team or group. The group cannot show one of the member’s achievement.
  • Some support individuals may also apply in the group like the camera operator, sound, lighting or other operators if the individual is essential and the work performed cannot be readily done by a U.S. worker.
Source: U.S. Department of State

To apply for a P-1B, the U.S.-based employer of the entertainment group must:

  • File Form I-129(Petition for a Nonimmigrant employee) and pay the application fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Provide a statement from a labor organization detailing the work to be performed in the U.S. or a declaration that the group has been reputable and performing routinely for at least 1 year (if not a circus).
  • If the applicant is a member of the group’s support staff, provide a statement detailing the major skills and experience with the group, and a copy of the employment contract with the group.
  • Provide a proper itinerary, including the days and locations of performances, and a copy of the signed agreement between the petitioner and the group.
  • Provide a full list of each member of the group and each member’s accurate dates of service.
  • Prove that the group is internationally recognized by providing at least three of the following:
  • The group will demonstrate as the leading group in the production or event that has a distinguished reputation.
  • Publications in major newspapers, journals, magazines that prove the group has attained international recognition in its field.
  • The entertaining group has and will perform services as a prominent group for organizations and establishments that have an eminent reputation.
  • The group has had major profitable success, verified by ratings, box-office receipts, sales, reviews, and other evidence.
  • Experts, institutes, government agencies, or other recognized specialists in the field have recognized the achievements of the group.
  • The performing group must show records that they receive high payments than other similar groups in the country.
Source: U.S. Department of State

How to File P-1B Visa Application for group performers?

After You File

  • Once we receive your form, your employer, agent or sponsor will receive a:
  • Receipt notice of confirmation of your petition;
  • Biometric services notice;
  • Notice to attend an interview, if required; and
  • Notice of our decision.
Source: U.S. Department of State

The visa application fee for the P-1B visa is $695.

Source: U.S. Department of State

The spouse and unmarried dependent children of a principal P1 beneficiary may get P4 visa. The successful P4 applicant is ineligible for working in the US without obtaining employment approval. If the petitioner has a substitute P1B beneficiary approved at the embassy or consulate, the petitioner will require to get a new Form I-129 for the substitute beneficiary at the point of entry in order to substitute a new member on P1B visa status. Nevertheless, it is very important to note the restrictions of the P1B visa. It is strictly a visa for performance in certain events only. It is not a pathway to become permanent resident in the US although the visa duration can be extended if the events require the P-1B applicant to stay some more time.

Source: U.S. Department of State