Working in the United States
Initial Period of Stay
Extension of Stay
Individual Athlete - Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 5 years
Individual Athlete –Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.
Total stay is limited to 10 years.
Athletic Group - Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year
Athletic Group – Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.
Essential Support Personnel - Time to complete the event, activity, or performance, may not exceed 1 year
Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.
For additional information on extension of status for P-1 nonimmigrant individual athletes and P-1 essential support personnel see the memos: “Procedures for Applying the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1 Nonimmigrant Individual Athletes” and “Procedures for Applying the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1S Nonimmigrant Individual Athletes’ Essential Support Personnel."
The Form I-129 is used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment.
For more information see “Extend my Stay” and “Change my Nonimmigrant Status” pages.
Change of employer
You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.
Family of P-1A Visa Holders
Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.
Essential Support Personnel
Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete (team) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees.
The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:
- A consultation from an from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill
- A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentiality, critical skills and experience with the P-1 athlete (team)
- A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed
Other USCIS Links
- Address Index for I-129 O & P Consultation Letters
- Procedures for Applying Authorized Period of Stay for P-1 Individual Athletes (349 KB PDF)
- Creating Opportunities for Minor League Professional, Entertainers, and Teams through Legal Entry Act of 2006 (COMPETE Act of 2006) - Admission as P-1 Nonimmigrant (54 KB PDF)
- Extend My Stay
- Change My Nonimmigrant Status
- Premium Processing
- Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications (890 KB PDF)
- Procedures for Applying the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1S Nonimmigrant Individual Athletes' Essential Support Personnel (52 KB PDF)
- Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations