AFM Updated to Clarify Admission Period for P1S Essential Support Personnel

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the Adjudicators Field Manual (AFM) with regard to P1S essential support personnel for individual athletes. This update does not represent a substantive change, but instead is intended to prevent incorrect approval periods. More specifically, the update focuses on ensuring that the initial admission period for P1S support personnel is limited to one year, instead of the maximum of five (5) years that may be granted to the principal P1A athlete.

Essential Support Personnel of P1A Athletes

The P1A visa classification is for internationally recognized individual athletes or internationally recognized teams. Like all P classification visas, P1A athletes or teams can be accompanied by essential support personnel (e.g., coaches, trainers), who may request admission to the United States in P1S status.

Petition Approval Periods

For most categories of the P visas classification (e.g., P1B, P-2, P-3), the initial petition can be approved for a maximum of one year. This applies to both the principal P applicant and the corresponding support personnel.

A petition for P1A status, however, can initially be approved for up to 5 years, while the P1S support personnel is still limited to just one year.

Update to AFM Designed to Prevent Errors in P1S Validity Period

Because of the discrepancy in the permitted admission period for the principal P1A and the P1S essential support personnel, this has sometimes led USCIS officers to improperly approve P1S petitions for five years. The update to the AFM is designed simply to help prevent such errors from reoccurring.


The update to the AFM does not affect P1S petitions that have been properly adjudicated. Rather, it should help to prevent petitions from being issued with improper periods of validity.


Copyright © 2019, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.