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P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

Alert: On May 29, 2020, USCIS announced that premium processing would resume for Form I-129 and Form I-140 petitions in phases over the month of June. Read more here: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Petitions.

P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as being outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

Eligibility Criteria

At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year and must provide functions integral to the group’s performance.

Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that such achievement is renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.

Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.

Special Provisions for Certain Entertainment Groups

Alien circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt from the one year group membership requirement and the internationally recognized requirement provided they are coming to join a circus that has been recognized nationally as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time.
Certain nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained and substantial amount of time in consideration of special circumstances.

Application Process

Your U.S. employer, U.S. agent,  U.S. sponsoring organization, or foreign employer through a U.S. agent must submit:

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation.
    Please note that a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers,  must establish that they are duly authorized to act as an agent for all of your employers. The conditions can be found in the memorandum, Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications. (PDF, 889.64 KB)
  • A consultation from an appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of the work to be done or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least one year (If no appropriate labor organization exists, the petition is adjudicated based on the evidence of record).

Supporting Documents

Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities
  • A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed
  • Evidence that your group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year
  • Statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group
  • Evidence that your group is internationally recognized in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of your group's receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in its field, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Your group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements
    • Your group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines or other published material
    • Your group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials
    • Your group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, standing int he field, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements in the field as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
    • Your group has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field. Such testimonials must be in a form that clearly indicates the author's authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien's achievements.
    • Your group has commanded or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence

Applying for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Once the visa petition is approved, you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees, see the Department of State's page.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay

Extension of Stay

Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed one year

Increments of up to one year in order to continue or complete the same event, competition or performance for which you were admitted.


The Form I-129 is also used to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment.

For more information see the Extend Your Stay and Change my Status pages.

Change of Employer

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new petition with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not start employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.

Family of P-1B 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 entertainment group and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1S classification. Support personnel may include backup dancers and musicians, lighting technicians, sound engineers and stage personnel.

The U.S. employee, agent or sponsoring organization must file a separate petition for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill
  • Evidence of the support person's qualifications to perform the services
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-1 entertainment group
  • 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

More Information

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