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I Am a Member of a Group, Can I Apply for P-1 Visa to Perform in U.S.?

Hi William,

I am a member of a
vocal group, can I apply for P-1 visa to perform in the United States?


The P-1 visa category is an attractive method for entertainers who are part of an entertainment group coming to the United States to perform. The dance troupes, acting companies, orchestras and vocal groups are examples of the type of groups that use the P-1 visa for their members.

The P-1 visa category is usually reserved for those entertainers who are part of a group. An individual performers cannot obtain a P-1 visa, unless they are coming to the U.S. to join a foreign entertainment group. The group with which a P-1 entertainer must be internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a “sustained and substantial period of time,” or the group is nationally recognized for a sustained and substantial period of time.

The P-1 visa also requires that an entertainer has a “sustained and substantial” relationship with the group, which is usually at least one-year.
However, this requirement has three exceptions:

1) this requirement only applies to 75% of the group’s performers and entertainers. Conversely, 25% of the group need not have a one-year relationship with the group.

2) this requirement can be waived if an alien replaces an essential member of the group in the case of illness or unanticipated and exigent circumstances or where an alien augments the group by performing a critical role.

3) the one-year requirement does not apply to circus personnel who perform as part of a circus that is nationally recognized as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time.

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