Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background

A. Purpose

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and implementing regulations provide that qualifying nonimmigrant athletes and entertainers may be approved for P nonimigrant classification.

B. Background

The Immigration Act of 1990 added the O and P nonimmigrant classes to INA 101(a)(15).[1] These new classes provided for the admission of artists, athletes, entertainers, and other persons of extraordinary ability. However, as a result of the passage of the Armed Forces Immigration Adjustment Act of 1991, the use of the O and P classifications was delayed until April 1, 1992.[2] Before the enactment of these laws, artists, athletes, and other performers were admitted under the H-1 (distinguished merit and ability), H-2 (temporary agricultural or non-agricultural), or B-1 (temporary business visitor) categories. The 1990 amendments also revised the H classifications, effectively barring their continued use by most performing artists and athletes.

C. Legal Authorities


[^ 1] See the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101-649 (PDF) (November 29, 1990).

[^ 2] See Pub. L. 102-110 (PDF) (October 1, 1991).

[^ 3] The Creating Opportunities for Minor League Professionals, Entertainers, and Teams through Legal Entry (COMPETE) Act of 2006 amended INA 214(c)(4)(A). See the COMPETE Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-463 (PDF) (December 22, 2006).

Current as of July 26, 2021