The P-1A Visa: Allowing Talented Athletes to Come to the U.S.

What are the requirements for obtaining a P-1A visa?

If you are an athlete who has been hired by an American sports league or team, you may be able to obtain a P-1A visa that will allow you to immigrate to the U.S.  The P-1A visa is available only to select athletes.  For athletes meeting the requirements of the P-1A visa, this type of visa may provide your answer to gaining the right to live and work in the U.S.  Our immigration lawyers at NPZ Law Group discuss the P-1A visa and what you need to know before applying.

  1. The P-1A visa is for internationally recognized athletes:

    To obtain a P-1A visa, you must demonstrate that you are an outstanding athlete that is internationally recognized in a specific sport.  International recognition may be evidenced by a high level of skill or achievement, or recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered in the sport.  Your immigration lawyer will assess your sports record to determine whether you meet the requisite level of recognition. 

  2. You must meet the requirements for the P-1A visa:

    To obtain a P-1A visa, you must meet the USCIS requirements.  Your application for a P-1A visa should include a copy of your contract with either a U.S. sports league or with an internationally recognized event in your chosen sport.  You will need to offer evidence of your international recognition, which could include: evidence that you have previously participated in a major U.S. team, evidence you competed in a national team for an international competition, evidence of international rankings, or a written statement from an official of a U.S. sports league or team detailing your recognitions. 

  3. Your coaches and support personnel can accompany you:

If you have essential personal that wish to come with you to the U.S. during your employment, you will need to show that your support people are vital to your performance.  Evidence could include a statement detailing your support person’s history with you and the skills they offer as well as a copy of your contract or spoken agreement between the employer and support person.

Athletes seeking to come to the United States should contact an immigration lawyer as soon as possible.  Your attorney will help you to determine if the P-1A visa is right for you.

If you should have any questions or need more information about how a P-1A visa may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please feel free to contact a  Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing to us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107) .