USCIS Clarifies the Period of Authorized Stay for P-1S Essential Support Personnel of Individual Athletes

USCIS has updated the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) (PDF, 224 KB) to emphasize that, under current regulations, the periods of initial authorized stay are different for individual athletes (P-1A) and their essential support personnel (P-1S). The P-1S classification is for “Essential Support Personnel” who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 nonimmigrant, 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 five years, while their P-1S essential support personnel have an initial authorized stay limited to the period of time necessary to complete the event, but not to exceed one year. The AFM update ensures that USCIS officers will apply the initial authorized stay for P-1S essential support personnel consistently.

Additionally, and consistent with DHS regulations, USCIS may authorize extension of stay petitions for P-1S essential support personnel of P-1A individual athletes for a period necessary to complete the event, not to exceed five years, for a total period of stay not to exceed 10 years.    

Additional information on the P-1A nonimmigrant classification is available on the P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete page.

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