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Chapter 4 - Documentation and Evidence

A. Evidence for P-1 Classification

A P-1 petition for classification as an internationally recognized athlete, team, or entertainment group must be supported by evidence that the person, group, or team is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline and is entering to perform services which require such a level of performance.[1] If the petition is for a group of entertainers, the petition must contain evidence that at least 75 percent of the group have been performing with the group for at least 1 year.[2] The petitioner must submit a consultation from a labor organization, if one exists.[3]

Required Documentation to Establish Level of Skill and Talent by P-1 Nonimmigrant

Type of P-1 Nonimmigrant and Related Authority

Examples of Documents

Individual Athlete or Athletic Team

8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(ii)(B)

Tendered contract with a major U.S. league or team or tendered contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in that sport, if such contracts are normally executed in the sport; and two forms of the following types of documentation:

  • Evidence of significant participation in a prior season with a major U.S. sports league;

  • Evidence of participation in international competition with a national team;

  • Evidence of significant participation in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition;

  • A written statement from the governing body of the sport detailing the alien’s or team’s international recognition;

  • A written statement from a recognized expert or member of the sports media detailing the alien’s or team’s international recognition;

  • Evidence that the alien or team is ranked if the sport has international rankings; or

  • Evidence the alien or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.

Entertainment Group

8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(iii)(B)

Evidence of the group's nomination or receipt of significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in its field or three forms of the following types of documentation:

  • Critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements showing that the group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events with a distinguished reputation;

  • Reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other published material showing the group’s international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field;

  • Articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials showing that the group has performed, and will perform, services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

  • Ratings, standing in the field, box office receipts, recording or video sales, and other achievements in the field, as reported in articles in newspapers, trade journals, or other publications showing major commercial or critically acclaimed success;

  • Testimonials showing that the group has achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field; or

  • Contracts or other reliable evidence that the group has either commanded or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services.

Circus Groups

8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(iii)(C)

  • Evidence the alien is coming to join (perform in) a circus that has been recognized nationally as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time or as part of such a circus.

Essential Support Personnel

8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(iv)

  • Statement describing the alien’s prior essentiality and skills and experience with the principal alien, group, or team.

INA 214(c)(4)(A) provides more information regarding petitions filed under the Creating Opportunities for Minor League Professionals, Entertainers, and Teams through Legal Entry (COMPETE) Act of 2006.[4]

B. Evidence for P-2 Nonimmigrant Classification

A petition filed on behalf of an alien seeking P-2 nonimmigrant classification should be submitted with the following supporting evidence: the consultation,[5] a copy of the reciprocal agreement, and evidence that the beneficiaries are subject to the reciprocal exchange.[6] A list of negotiated P-2 reciprocal agreements is maintained on the P-2 Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program webpage. If a reciprocal agreement is submitted other than those listed, the officer must review the agreement to determine if the agreement adheres to the regulatory standard.[7]

C. Evidence for P-3 Nonimmigrant Classification

A petition filed on behalf of an alien seeking P-3 nonimmigrant classification should be submitted with the following supporting evidence:[8]

  • Affidavits, testimonials, or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of the alien’s or the group’s skills in performing, presenting, coaching, or teaching the unique or traditional art form and giving the credentials of the expert, including the basis of his or her knowledge of the alien’s or group’s skill; or

  • Documentation that the performance of the alien or group is culturally unique, as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals, or other published materials.

In addition, the petition must be submitted with evidence that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events.

D. Consultation Requirement

1. Statutorily Mandated Consultation Process

Along with the supporting documentation, a statutorily mandated consultation process exists for all P petitions.[9] This consultation must be from an appropriate labor organization and address the nature of the work to be done and the alien’s qualifications or, for certain classifications, the organization may indicate it has no objection to approval of the petition.[10] The petitioner has the burden of furnishing a consultation.

The source and contents of the consultation varies, depending upon the type of petition as shown in the table below.

Consultation Requirement


Source and Contents of Consultation


Consultation with an appropriate labor organization is required if one exists. The consultation must evaluate the alien's (group's) qualifications and state whether the services or performances are appropriate for an internationally recognized athlete or entertainment group.[11] The labor organization may also issue a letter of no objection.


Consultation with an appropriate labor organization to verify that a bona fide reciprocal agreement exists.[12]


Consultation with an appropriate labor organization to evaluate the cultural uniqueness of the entertainer(s) and whether the performances are in a cultural program appropriate for the P-3 classification.[13] The labor organization may also issue a letter of no objection.

Essential Support Personnel

Consultation with an appropriate labor organization. Consultation must evaluate the essential character of the work, the relationship between the principal and support workers, and the availability of U.S. workers to do the job.[14] The labor organization may also issue a letter of no objection.

The regulations specify mandatory response times for consultations for expedited cases and prescribe action to be taken when a requested opinion is not received.[15] The consultations are advisory in nature only and are not binding on USCIS.[16] A negative consultation does not automatically result in the denial of the petition, as decisions must be based on the totality of the evidence. Accordingly, if the petitioner submits evidence that overcomes a negative advisory opinion and which establishes the merits of the alien, USCIS may approve the petition.

2. Petitions Meriting Expedited Processing

If USCIS has determined that a petition merits expeditious handling, USCIS contacts the appropriate labor organization and requests an advisory opinion if one is not submitted by the petitioner. The organization then has 24 hours to respond to the request. If no response to the request is received, then USCIS renders a decision on the petition without an advisory opinion.[17]


[^ 1] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(i).

[^ 2] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(iii).

[^ 3] See Section D, Consultation Requirement [2 USCIS-PM N.4(D)]. See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(2)(ii)(D). See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7).

[^ 4] See Pub. L. 109-463 (PDF) (December 22, 2006).

[^ 5] See Section D, Consultation Requirement [2 USCIS-PM N.4(D)].

[^ 6] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(5)(ii).

[^ 7] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(5)(ii).

[^ 8] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(6)(ii). See Matter of Skirball Cultural Center (PDF), 25 I&N Dec. 799 (AAO 2012).

[^ 9] See INA 214(c)(4)(D). See INA 214(c)(4)(E).

[^ 10] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7).

[^ 11] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(ii). See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(iii).

[^ 12] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(iv).

[^ 13] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(v).

[^ 14] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(vi).

[^ 15] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(i)(E).

[^ 16] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(i)(D).

[^ 17] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(7)(i)(E).


Legal Authorities

8 CFR 214.2(p) - Artists, athletes, and entertainers

INA 101(a)(15)(P) - Extraordinary ability in arts or athletics as part of a group

INA 204(i) - Definition of Professional Athlete

INA 214(a)(2)(B) - Admission (Stay)

INA 214(c) - Admission of nonimmigrants

INA 214(c)(1) - Importing Employer

INA 214(c)(4) - Petition of Importing Employer

INA 214(c)(5)(B) - Return Transportation

INA 214(c)(6) - Consultation Requirement

Pub. L. 109-463 (PDF) - COMPETE Act of 2006


No appendices available at this time.


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