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P-1 Visa for a Member of an
Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

Hi William,

I am an
internationally recognized outstanding dancer, currently not performing as part of a group or a company in my home country. Can I apply for P-1 visa to perform for dance company in the United States?


The P-1 visa is available to athletes or athletic teams that have been internationally recognized as outstanding for a long time. For
internationally recognized athlete, it is also called P-1A. The P-1 visa is also available to performers of entertainment group or company that have been nationally recognized as outstanding for a long time. For a member of an internationally recognized entertainment group, it is called P-1B visa.

The P-1B visas can be issued based on the expertise of a group or company. For an entertainment
group or company, the performer qualifying for a P-1B visa should have been working for the group or company for at least one year. The P-1B visa applies to an alien applicant if he or she is coming to U.S. temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

To qualify for a P-1B visa,
at least 75% of the members of the entertainment group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year. The entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential. An individual entertainer not performing as part of a group is not eligible for the P-1B visa application.

USCIS may waive the international recognition requirement for groups that have only outstanding national reputations, if special circumstances would make it difficult for the group to prove its international reputation. Such circumstances could include the group having only limited access to news media or problems based on geographical location. Therefore, some nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in in the field for a sustained amount of time.

But the alien circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt the one-year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement. The alien must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus.

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