On July 14, 2009, USCIS updated its guidance on procedures for applying the period of authorized stay for P-1 individual athletes and P-1S athletes’ support personnel. The initial guidance, issued on March 6, 2009, provided USCIS personnel with instructions for applying the period of authorized stay for P-1 individual athletes only; the guidance specifically did not apply to aliens serving in a support capacity, P-2 or P-3 categories or derivatives.

In the July memorandum, USCIS extends the March 2009 guidance for P-1 individual athletes to their P-1 essential support personnel (P-1S personnel). Accordingly, P-1S essential support personnel of individual athletes:

  • Are not subject to a lifetime admission of 10 years in the United States;
  • May reapply for a new P-1S initial period of admission, based on an approved petition, after they have been in the United States for a 10-year period; and
  • Must depart the United States after 10 years in order to be eligible for a new initial period of admission of up to 1 year.

With this new guidance, essential support personnel of P-1 athletes now have the same maximum authorized period of stay as their P-1 individual athlete counterparts, providing greater consistency.