P-1 Visa is a Hole in One for Pro Golfer

Do you know any international athletes who want to take their training and competing to America? If they are doing well enough, the P-1 Visa may be the way to go.

U.S. at the Forefront of International Athletics

The U.S. has been at the forefront of international athletics for decades. Each Olympiad and international competition consistently shows the U.S. at or near the top of the medal count or leader board.

It makes sense, then that athletes from all over the world want to come to our country to participate.

How the P-1 Visa Factors In

To train and compete for prize money in the U.S., non-citizens must first obtain a P-1 visa. In order to do this, they need to prove their status of international renown.

The P‐1A Visa for an Internationally Recognized Athlete allows high-level athletes the opportunity to live, train and compete in the U.S. “to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.” See 8 CFR Sec. 214.2(p) for more information on P Visa classifications.

We had the privilege of assisting our client, Tom, a professional golfer from the UK, obtain P‐1A status. Tom was sponsored by an American golf tour. His petition contained:

  • Evidence of his participation in professional competitions
  • Winnings and high finishes
  • Letters of support from professional golfers and coaches
  • An explanation of the events and activities Tom intended to pursue in the U.S.

Tom had a long history of great finishes. And he had no shortage of professionals who could attest to his skills on the golf course.

After submitting his application to USCIS at the end of the year, Tom received the approval of his visa in three weeks. He is now training and competing in tournaments around the country to improve his game. And he aims to compete in the PGA.

Just another success story from the Marks Gray immigration team!

Originally published April 25, 2017. Updated January 27, 2023.