U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its Adjudicators Field Manual to emphasize that, under current regulations, the periods of initial authorized stay are different for individual athletes (P-1A visa) and their essential support personnel (P-1S visa).

The P-1S classification is for “Essential Support Personnel” who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 individual athlete, and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker.

  • Under existing DHS regulations, P-1A individual athletes have an initial period of authorized stay of up to 5 years, while their P-1S essential support personnel have an initial authorized stay limited to the period of time necessary to complete the sporting event, but not to exceed 1 year.
  • USCIS also may authorize visa extension petitions for P-1S essential support personnel for a period necessary to complete the event, not to exceed 5 years, for a total period of stay not to exceed 10 years.

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