FAQ: How Long Can Someone with P Status Stay in the US?

For most petitioners thinking about going through the petitioning process to get P visas for certain foreign nationals, it is important for them to know what P status allows.

The question is straightforward. But what about the answer? Let’s see.

In this post, we’ll answer the question of how long someone with P status may remain in the US. But, before doing so, let’s look at which foreign nationals the P visa is for.

The P category is for certain athletes and entertainers. In fact, it one of the few categories for athletes and entertainers. Athletes and entertainers who cannot succeed under the extraordinary ability standard for the O category, only have the P and the H-2B visa to look toward.

Now, let’s look at how long certain P-category foreign nationals may stay in the US.

First off, except for P-1 athletes, there is no explicit statutory limit on the total permitted stay. However, the initial stay can be approved for (up to a period of one year) the time needed for the specific competition, event, or performance for which the P-category foreign national enters the US.

For P-1 athletes there is a limit of 10 years for the total permitted stay. And an initial period of stay may be given for five years.

The definition of the phrase “competition, event, or performance” is significant. The phrase includes activities such as an athletic competitions, athletic seasons, tournaments, tours, exhibits, projects, and entertainment events.