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What is the P1 Musician Visa?

By Patricia Elizee, Esq.

P1 visa for music groups going on tour in the US
immigration for musicians

Today's growth of the internet has made the entire world an accessible place. This is especially true for musicians who want to promote their music. Its never been easier to share your music with a worldwide audience. However, despite being completely accessible, you still need to follow a country's rules and regulations to gain physical entry as a musician. The United States is one of the top destinations for entertainers and artists worldwide.

Everyone from professionals, amateurs to world-famous musicians are always eager to showcase their musical skill set to their American audience. Besides entertaining their American audience, global entertainers and artists can also come to the United States to promote the exchange of cultures and ideas, which helps enrich both parties.
However, for you as a musician to enter the United States to perform or visit, you require a visa, specifically a P-1B Visa.

What is a P1 Visa?

Before we can discuss more on P1B visas, let's first define a P1 visa. A P1 visa is an entertainment visa is a non-immigrant visa, which allows foreign nationals who are entertainers, athletes, and artists to gain entry into the United States for a performance, competition, and specific event.

Since this visa targets two groups- athletes and entertainment groups, the P1 visa is usually divided into two:

P1A visa: This visa caters to globally recognized athletic teams or individual athletes

P1B visa: This visa card helps entertainment groups or individual musicians enter the United States.

One common rule for both P1 visas is that if a group of musicians or athletes is using for this visa, the team or group should have at least two members.

Requirements for a P1B Visa

Now that you know what a P1B visa is, the next step is learning about the requirements of a P1B visa. The documentation you must provide for a P1B visa application includes:
● An employment history document of the members of your group
● A petition provided by your United States potential employer
● Documented proof that most of your band members have been with the group for at least a year
● Three types of documented proof that your band is an internationally recognized entity.

The types of evidence you need to provide will include:
o Past advertisements and press releases
o The group's performance review recorded in international publications
o Testimonials from field experts
o Proof of your commercial success, like video or ticket sales
o Evidence of the group's past performances for establishments and organizations with a distinguished reputation
o Evidence that you command a high salary

Benefits of a P1B Visa
The benefits that come from owning a P1 visa for musicians include:

Getting a Job in the United States Becomes Easier

With a P1b visa, it becomes easier for any musician to work in the United States. This not only includes concerts; but also legal promotional appearances. Musicians with a P1b visa may bring their dependents to the U.S. The definition of dependents according to the law includes your spouse and any children under 21 who aren't married. They will, however, have to apply for a P4 visa and submit it after the primary P1b holder.

If your dependents are granted access to come to the United States, it's important to note that they won't have the ability to work.

Driving Licence
It's pretty easy to receive an American driver's license and Social Security Number with any P1 Visa.

Switch Jobs
With a P1b visa, you can change jobs easily, but you must submit a new application form 1-129 to USCIS. This allows you to ask for authorization to stay and get hired in the United States. You also can't start working for a different company until immigration authorities authorize your form 1-129.

What Does the Application Process of a P1b Visa Involve?

Hire an Immigration Lawyer
The first step of a P1b visa application process is hiring an immigration lawyer for musicians. Your lawyer will not only walk with you throughout the entire process, but they will also offer you a comprehensive checklist to follow.
Provide Evidence

Once your lawyer, the next step is acquiring the documents required to obtain a P1B Visa. These documents are highlighted in the requirement section.
Submit the Form I-129

The third step is the submission of Form I-129. All P1B visa applicants must complete this form, and it is available online. But, you, your sponsor, agent, or employer should submit the complete form from a suitable labor group.

Make an Appointment
Every P1b applicant is required to undergo an interview. These interviews happen with the U.S Embassy present in their countries.


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