A San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Explains The P-1A Visa For Foreign Athletes

The P-1A visa is specially tailored for internationally recognized athletes who wish to come to the United States temporarily to complete in a specific sporting event. Those who qualify for the P-1A visa could either be an individual athlete or an athlete on a national team.

Here are some quick facts about this non-immigration visa for athletes:

•    A P-1A visa holder may stay in the United States for up to five years without an extension. With extensions, those with P-1A visas can stay in the country for ten years.
•    When in the United States on a P-1A visa, you may engage in part-time study.
•    P-1A visa holders may compete for awards and prize money.
•    Dependents of P-1A visa holders, such as spouses and minor children, can apply to accompany their family member to the United States.
•    Dependents may not work during their stay in the United States.
•    P-1A visa holders may travel freely throughout the United States and the world.
•    While P-1A visa holders may work for different employers or compete in multiple events, each employer must fill out visa documentation.
•    Unlike other P-1 visa holders, P-1A via holders are not required to perform as part of a larger group, such as a team.

Any athlete applying for a P-1A visa must provide a number of documents in order to be approved. These documents include: proof that you are an international athlete or belong to an internationally recognized team; evidence of participation in previous international events, especially during the previous season; any awards or honors related to your athletic ability in your sport; any articles or news pieces regarding your participation in the sport; and a contract proving a contract or business arrangement with a United States sports league or entity.

It can be difficult to know which type of visa is right for your needs, especially if you are traveling to the United States as an athlete. For help securing your visa, contact a California immigration attorney to schedule an informational meeting – and get started on your visa application today.
Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

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