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What is the P-1 classification?

One way to legally enter the United States is to see if you qualify for the P-1 classification. It’s used for those who excel at athletics, so, while most people will not qualify, it’s incredibly valuable for those who do.

It can be used for those who are involved in team sports, like soccer, or individual sports. It’s typically used on a short-term basis, allowing athletes to easily cross borders for specific competitions.

The criteria can be a bit open-ended, but the general rule is that you must have achieved a “high level” of success and you must be recognized on an international level. Your recognition and skill have to be substantially higher than most people enjoy so that your name — or the team — is well-known in multiple countries.

Essentially, the P-1 classification is not to be used by low-level athletes, regardless of their passion for the sport. It’s to be used by high-level competitors who have a realistic shot at winning tournaments and competitions. You need to be a elite athlete who dedicates a substantial amount of time to your craft and who is far better at your sport of choice than the average person who may play casually.

In order to show that this is the case, the U.S. employer has to file the petition for you. They’ll use Form I-129. This classifies you as a nonimmigrant worker. They’ll also have to send in the proper supporting documentation and the fee. Documentation includes a written consultation, a contract, an itinerary and more.

Would you like to learn more about how to use this P-1 classification to visit the United States? Our website can offer helpful information and answer your questions.