By Bob Mionske
Posted Jan. 9, 2003
Legally Speaking – with Bob Mionske
Greetings Mr. Mionske,(I am a professional triathlete here in the U.S. I am Brazilian and moved here about two years ago and at first I stayed here as a tourist. Now I am a student in Florida. I am planning on applying for the p-1 visa. Can I do that by myself? If not, how much will lawyers usually charge for this service?
The answer to your inquiry is located in section 214.2(p), C.F.R. A P-1 visa status applies to aliens who wish to stay in the U.S. temporarily “to perform at [a] specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as a team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.” Subsection 214.2(p)(2) states that “A P-1 petition for an athlete . . . shall be filed by a United States employer, a United States sponsoring organization, [or] a United States agent . . ..”
Therefore, you cannot file directly. In addition, 214(p) requires athletes who are participating in more than one event (that is, a tour) to file an itinerary with the dates and locations of each competition. It is possible that the visitor may be employed by the agent (such as a racing team or commercial sponsor), but the agent must apply for the visa and supply evidence of the employment contract or agreement.
In summary, a P-1 visa permits only athletes visiting to attend a specific event or sequence of events, or an athlete that is employed by a team or sponsor to stay for the length of time of that agreement. In either case, the event or the team must apply for the visa. There is also a lengthy list of documentation as to the credentials of the athlete and the specifics of the event or employment contract. Therefore, the services of an experienced advisor are strongly recommended.
Unfortunately, no reliable estimate of costs can be given at this time because the high demand for immigration and naturalization legal services resulting from the current international situation is escalating fees. Quick research indicates that $150-$250 per billable hour is typical in the South Florida area.
Finally, P-1 status requires application six months prior to issuance of the visa. In any case, you should not wait until your current visa lapses before you secure a new arrangement, as I have been informed that the INS is presently disinclined to assist overstaying visa holders.
Good luck(Bob (
(research assistance provided by Bruce Epperson, Law Student- Nova Southeastern University)
Bob Mionske is a former competitive cyclist who represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic games (where he finished fourth in the road race), the 1992 Olympics, as well as winning the 1990 National Championship Road Race.After retiring from racing in 1993 he coached the Saturn Professional Cycling team for one year before heading off to law school. Mionske’s practice is now split between personal injury work, representing professional athletes as an agent and other legal issues facing endurance athletes (traffic violations, contract, criminal charges, intellectual property etc).If you have a cycling related legal question please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Bob will answer as many of these questions privately as he can. He will also select a few questions each week to answer on VeloNews.com. General bicycle accident advice can be found at www.bicyclelaw.com.
The information provided in the “Legally speaking” column is not legal advice. The information provided on this public web site is provided solely for the general interest of the visitors to this web site. The information contained in the column applies to general principles of American jurisprudence and may not reflect current legal developments or statutory changes in the various jurisdictions and therefore should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice. Understand that reading the information contained in this column does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with attorney Bob Mionske. Readers of this column should not act upon any information contained in the web site without first seeking the advice of legal counsel.
This article, Applying For A P-1 Visa, was originally published on VeloNews on January 9, 2003.