P-1 Athletic Visa Processing Times for 2019

Processing times vary for immigration applications, but you should expect to wait anywhere between a few weeks to a full year.

The current processing time for the P-1 Athletic Visa can vary based on the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) service center that is handling your application.

Currently, there are two service centers which process these applications:

  • California Service Center
  • Vermont Service Center

Current Processing Times by Service Center

Screenshot of USCIS Processing Times Website. Taken on August 2nd, 2019.
Screenshot taken from https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/ on August 1st, 2019.

The easiest (and most accurate) way to check the current processing times for your athletic visa is to go to the official USCIS Processing Times page.

On this page, you can put in the application type for your visa (in this case, the I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) and choose the service center you filed with in order to see the current processing time.

As noted above, there are currently two service centers which process the P athletic visa preference.

Generally speaking, you should check the processing times for whichever service center is closest to your event.

For example, if your athletic event is in Nevada or Oregon, you should file your petition in the California Service Center. 

However, if your event is in New York or Washington D.C., you should instead file in Vermont.

The only exception is if you will be working for a Major League Sports Organization (such as the NFL or MLB), in which case you will automatically send your petition to the Vermont Service Center.

As of August 2nd 2019 (when we last made significant edits to this article), the current processing times for each of the service centers are:

  • California Service Center – 2 weeks to 2.5 months
  • Vermont Service Center – 3 weeks to 2.5 months

However, always check the original source before making any final decisions in your case.

(Keep in mind that the current processing times are updated around the 15th of each month.)

How Can I Speed Up the Application Process?

One way to expedite your application is to sign up for the premium processing service.

The Premium Processing Service allows P-1 visa applicants to speed up their application by paying a $1,410 fee (USCIS fees are always subject to change). 

With the Premium Processing Service, USCIS promises that it will process your petition within 15 days or it will refund the processing fee. 

To apply for Premium Processing, your U.S. sponsor must submit Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Services, with your Form I-129.

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