Are you a well-known international gamer or team looking to compete at EVO 2018 in August in Las Vegas or another eSports tournament in the U.S.? If so, you, your teammates, or your support staff may be eligible for a P-1A visa for internationally recognized professional athletes to train and compete in the U.S.
Applying for a P-1A
Internationally known gamers or eSports teams participating in an international event in the U.S are eligible for P-1A visas. If an individual is coming to the U.S. to join a U.S. eSports team, the candidate must have achieved significant international recognition.
To obtain P-1A visa, a U.S. employer must file and obtain an approved P-1A petition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the individual, team, or support staff. Once USCIS approves the P-1A petition, the gamer must apply for a P-1A visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate near the gamer’s residence.
The P-1A visa for an individual gamer is valid for up to five years. A gamer can extend a P-1A visa one time for another five-year period. For a team, the P-1A visa is valid for only up to one year. However, a team can extend a P-1A indefinitely in one-year increments.
The spouse and children under the age of 18 of P-1A visa holders are eligible for a P-4 visa. P-4 visa holders can attend school or college. However, they cannot obtain a work permit.
If the eSports athlete or team is currently in the U.S. on another nonimmigrant visa, that visa can be changed to a P-1A.
Currently, USCIS takes anywhere from one week to two-and-a-half months to process and decide on P-1A applications.
We Can Help
The Alcorn Immigration Law team helps gamers and eSports teams with filing P-1A visa petitions. Strong evidence and a compelling petition are the keys to success in obtaining a P-1A visa. Our team has prevailed in more than 95% of the immigration petitions and cases we have handled. If gamers or teams are in the U.S. on another nonimmigrant visa, we can help change to a P-1A visa. We can also assist in devising alternative strategies. Contact us.