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 established for a minimum of one year and recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

For more information, see Volume 2, Part N of the USCIS Policy Manual.

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.

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 the one year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement. The alien or aliens must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus.

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 amount of time in consideration of special circumstances.

Form I-129 Application Process

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

  • Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation.
    Please note that the if petitioner will be filing as an agent for multiple employers, they 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, 790.07 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, this requirement is excused)

Evidence to Submit

Form I-129 must include the following documents:

  • Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
  • Itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances
  • A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or summary of 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 as outstanding 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 the 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 production 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, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements 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
    • Your group has commanded and 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

After USCIS approves the Form I-129

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, travel.state.gov" 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 to continue or complete the event, competition, or performance.

Form I-129 is 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 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-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 entertainer(s) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel include front office personnel, camera operators, lighting technicians, and stage personnel.

The petitioner must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:

  • A consultation from an appropriate labor organization;
  • A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills, and experience with the P-1 entertainer(s); and
  • 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.

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