New P-1B Policy for Individuals

August 9, 2012

A foreign individual performing as a member of a U.S.-based group is eligible to apply for a P-1B visa, according to a December 31, 2011 memo issued by USCIS.  Previously, the P-1B classification was exclusively available to foreign-based groups of performers.  This development provides an opportunity for individuals to apply for a visa based on the reputation of the U.S.-based group with which the performances will take place.  Please note, however, that individuals coming to the United States on a P-1B visa will only be authorized for work that takes place as a member of the U.S.-based group.  For individual artists planning an itinerary of activities that includes performances as a member of a group, plus solo or other endeavors, the O-1B will be the appropriate visa classification.  While the memo is dated December 2011, USCIS has yet to publicly post or proactively announce the policy change. Nonetheless, the Vermont and California visa processing centers are implementing the new policy. See the P1-B page on Artists from Abroad for more details.