Monday, March 29, 2021

New Guidance from USCIS on P-1A Internationally Recognized Athletes

 USCIS has issued guidance to clarify certain lingering uncertainties about how P-1A petitions are processed.  The P-1A nonimmigrant visa classification is available, in part, to a person who performs, individually or as part of a team, as an athlete at an “internationally recognized level of performance." 

The new guidance:

  • Clarifies that the regulatory phrase “major United States sports league” at 8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(ii)(B) is interpreted to mean one that has a distinguished reputation commensurate with an internationally recognized level of performance, and “major United States sports team” means a team that participates in such a league.
  • Describes non-exhaustive examples of information and evidence relevant to evaluating whether an entity is a “major United States sports league or team” for the purpose of adjudicating P-1A petitions for internationally recognized athletes or teams.
  • Explains how to evaluate whether events or competitions have a distinguished reputation and are at an internationally recognized level of performance. 

The full text of the guidance can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual.

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