Skip to main content

Chapter 5 - Adjudication

A. Approvals

If the necessary required evidence has been submitted and all requirements have been met, the officer approves the petition and issues a Notice of Action (Form I-797) showing the period of validity and the alien beneficiary’s name and classification.

1. Validity Period of Petition for Athletes and Entertainers

The approval period for a P nonimmigrant petition must conform to the limits outlined in the table below.

Approval Period for a P Nonimmigrant Petition

Nonimmigrant Classification

Validity Period

P-1

(individual athlete)

Up to 5 years[1]

P-1

(team or entertainment group)

Period of time determined by USCIS to be necessary to complete the event or activity, but not to exceed 1 year[2]

P-2

Period of time determined by USCIS to be necessary to complete the event or activity, but not to exceed 1 year[3]

P-3

Period of time determined by USCIS to be necessary to complete the event or activity, but not to exceed 1 year[4]

If the petition is approved after the date the petitioner indicated services would begin, the approved petition shows a validity period commencing with the date of approval and up to the date requested by the petitioner, not to exceed the maximum period described above.[5]

If the petitioner filed Form I-129 to extend the validity of the original petition in order to continue or complete the same activities or events specified in the original petition, an extension of stay may be authorized in increments of up to 1 year. P-1 individual athletes may be extended for up to 5 years, not to exceed 10 years in total.[6]

A beneficiary may be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. The beneficiary may not work except during the validity period of the petition.[7]

2. Validity Period of Petition for Essential Support Personnel

Current DHS regulations provide that an approved P-1 petition for an individual athlete (also known as a P-1A) are valid for a period of up to 5 years.[8] The general rule for the approval period of a P-1 petition for essential support personnel (also known as P-1S) states that the approved petition must only be valid for a period of time determined by USCIS to be necessary to complete the event for which the P-1 is admitted, not to exceed 1 year.[9]

The exception to that general rule is the period for an extension of stay to continue or complete the same event or activity for essential support personnel of a P-1A individual athlete, which may be approved for a period of up to 5 years, for a total period of stay not to exceed 10 years.[10] USCIS interprets this exception at 8 CFR 214.2(p)(14) consistent with its plain language, such that the 5-year extension of stay for a P-1S for an individual athlete is only available when the petitioner requests an extension of stay (and not consulate notification) to continue or complete the same event or activity for a beneficiary who is in the United States in P-1S status at the time the petition extension is properly filed, and the extension of stay request is approved.[11]

Therefore, while the initial validity period of a P-1 petition for essential support personnel is limited to 1 year or less, the validity period of an extension of stay of essential support personnel of a P-1A individual athlete may exceed 1 year thereafter, provided that:

  • The purpose is to continue or complete the same event or activity for which they were admitted; and

  • The extension of stay validity period does not exceed the period of time necessary to complete the event (not to exceed 5 years, or a total period of stay of 10 years).

B. Denials

If the requirements have not been met, the officer should deny the petition. The petitioner must be notified of the decision, the reasons for denial, and the right to appeal the denial.[12] The denial of a petition to classify an alien as a P nonimmigrant may be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office. The appeal must be filed on a Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B) within 30 days of the decision.[13] There is no appeal from a decision to deny an extension of stay to the alien.[14]

If the officer decides to incorporate into the denial decision a negative advisory opinion which USCIS has obtained (separate from one submitted by the petitioner), he or she must disclose the nature of the advisory opinion to the petitioner in a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) and give the petitioner an opportunity for rebuttal. 

Footnotes


1. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(8)(iii)(A).

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

3. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(8)(iii)(B).

4. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(8)(iii)(C).

5. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(8)(ii)(A).

6. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(14). For guidance on applying the period of authorized stay for individual athletes, see Procedures for Applying the Period of Stay for P-1 Nonimmigrant Individual Athletes (PDF) (PDF, 476.13 KB), HQ 70/6.2.19, issued March 6, 2009.

7. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(12).

8. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(8)(iii)(A).

9. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(8)(iii)(E).

10. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(14). See Procedures for Applying the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1S Nonimmigrant Individual Athletes Essential Support Personnel (PDF) (PDF, 327.89 KB), HQ 70/6.2.19, issued July 14, 2009.

11. [^] See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(14)(i), which requires a petitioner seeking an extension to file both an extension of the petition and an extension of stay, and also states that the nonimmigrant applies for a visa at a consular office abroad if the nonimmigrant leaves the United States while the extension requests are pending.

12. [^] See 8 CFR 103.3.

13. [^] See 8 CFR 103.3(a)(2).

14. [^] See 8 CFR 214.1(c)(5). While requests to extend petition validity and the alien’s stay for P nonimmigrants are combined on the petition, USCIS makes a separate determination on each request. See 8 CFR 214.2(p)(14)(i).

Resources

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

Appendices

No appendices available at this time.

Updates

Technical Update - Incorporating Existing Guidance into the Policy Manual

This technical update is part of an initiative to move existing policy guidance from the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) into the Policy Manual. This update does not make major substantive changes but consolidates and incorporates existing AFM guidance into the Policy Manual, streamlining USCIS’ immigration policy while removing obsolete information. This guidance replaces Chapter 33 of the AFM, related appendices, and policy memoranda.

POLICY ALERT - Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements Final Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising its policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to align with the Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020. This guidance becomes effective October 2, 2020. For information regarding implementation, see our litigation summary.

Read More
Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy Manual

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk (PDF) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].