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groups. A petition for P-1 classification for the members of an entertainment group shall be accompanied by:

(1) Evidence that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least 1 year;

(2) A statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group; and

(3) Evidence that the group has been internationally recognized in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time. This may be demonstrated by the submission of evidence of the group's nomination or receipt of significant international awards prices for outstanding achievement in its field or by three of the following different types of documentation:

(i) Evidence that the group has performed, and will perform, as a starring or leading entertainment group in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;

(ii) Evidence that the group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other published material;

(iii) Evidence that the group has performed, and will perform, services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;

(iv) Evidence that the group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by such indicators as ratings; standing in the field; box office receipts; record, cassette, or video sales; and other achievements in the field as reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications;

(v) Evidence that the group has achieved significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field. Such testimonials must be in a form that clearly indicates the author's author

ity, expertise, and knowledge of the alien's achievements; or

(vi) Evidence that the group has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to other similarly situated in the field as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

(C) Special provisions for certain entertainment groups(1) Alien circus personnel. The 1-year group membership requirement and the international recognition requirement are not applicable to alien circus personnel who perform as part of a circus or circus group, or who constitute an integral and essential part of the performance of such circus or circus group, provided that the alien or aliens are coming to join a circus that has been recognized nationally as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time or as part of such a circus.

(2) Certain nationally known entertainment groups. The Director may waive the international recognition requirement in the case of an entertainment group which has been recognized nationally as being outstanding in its discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time in consideration of special circumstances. An example of a special circumstances would be when an entertainment group may find it difficult to demonstrate recognition in more than one country due to such factors as limited access to news media or consequences of geography.

(3) Waiver of 1-year relationship in erigent circumstances. The Director may waive the 1-year relationship requirement for an alien who, because of illness or unanticipated and exigent circumstances, replaces essential member of a P-1 entertainment group or an alien who augments the group by performing a critical role. The Department of State is hereby delegated the authority to waive the 1-year relationship requirement in the case of consular substitutions involving P-1 entertainment groups.

(iv) P-1 classification as an essential support alien-(A) General. An essential support alien as defined in paragraph (p)(3) of this section may be granted P1 classification based on a support relationship with an individual P-1 athlete,

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P-1 athletic team, or a P-1 entertainment group.

(B) Evidentiary criteria for a P-1 essential support petition. A petition for P-1 essential support personnel must be accompanied by:

(1) A consultation from a labor organization with expertise in the area of the alien's skill;

(2) A statement describing the alien(s) prior essentiality, critical skills, and experience with the principal alien(s); and

(3) A copy of the written contract or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement between the alien(s) and the employer.

(5) Petition for an artist or entertainer under a reciprocal exchange program (P2)–(i) General. (A) A P-2 classification shall be accorded to artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, who will be performing under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the United States, which may include a management organization, and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states and which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers, or groups of artists and entertainers.

(B) The exchange of artists or entertainers shall be similar in terms of caliber of artists or entertainers, terms and conditions of employment, such as length of employment, and numbers of artists or entertainers involved in the exchange. However, this requirement does not preclude an individual for group exchange.

(C) An alien who is an essential support person as defined in paragraph (p)(3) of this section may be accorded P-2 classification based on a support relationship to a P-2 artist or entertainer under a reciprocal exchange program.

(ii) Evidentiary requirements for petition involving a reciprocal exchange program. A petition for P-2 classification shall be accompanied by:

(A) A copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the U.S. organization or organizations which sponsor the aliens and an organization or organizations in a foreign country which will receive the U.S. artist or entertainers;

(B) A statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of U.S. artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which P-2 classification is being sought;

(C) Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the United States was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal change of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers, and

(D) Evidence that the aliens for whom P-2 classification is being sought and the U.S. artists or entertainers subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement are artists or entertainers with comparable skills, and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar.

(iii) P-2 classification as an essential support alien-A) General. An essential support alien as defined in paragraph (p)(3) of this section may be granted P2 classification based on a support relationship with a P-2 entertainer or P-2 entertainment group.

(B) Evidentiary criteria for a P-2 essential support petition. A petition for P-2 essential support personnel must be accompanied by:

(1) A consultation from a labor organization with expertise in the area of the alien's skill;

(2) A statement describing the alien(s) prior essentiality, critical skills, and experience with the principal alien(s); and

(3) A copy of the written contract or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement between the alien(s) and the employer.

(6) Petition for an artist or entertainer under a culturally unique program-(i) General. (A) AP-3 classification may be accorded to artists or entertainers, individually or as a group, coming to the United States for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation.

(B) The artist or entertainer must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of his or her art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

(ii) Evidentiary criteria for a petition involving a culturally unique program. A petition for P-3 classification shall be accompanied by:

(A) Affidavits, testimonials, or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of the alien's or the group's skills in performing, presenting, coaching, or teaching the unique or traditional art form and giving the credentials of the expert, including the basis of his or her knowledge of the alien's or group's skill, or

(B) Documentation that the performance of the alien or group is culturally unique, as evidence by reviews in newspapers, journals, or other published materials; and

(C) Evidence that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events.

(iii) P-3 classification as an essential support alien-(A) General. An essential support alien as defined in paragraph (p)(3) of this section may be granted P3 classification based on a support relationship with a P-3 entertainer or P-3 entertainment group.

(B) Evidentiary criteria for a P-3 essential support petition. A petition for P-3 essential support personnel must be accompanied by:

(1) A consultation from a labor organization with expertise in the area of the alien's skill;

(2) A statement describing the alien(s) prior essentiality, critical skills and experience with the principal alien(s); and

(3) A copy of the written contract or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement between the alien(s) and the employer.

(7) Consultation-(i) General. (A) Consultation with an appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of the work to be done and the alien's qualifications is mandatory before a petition for P-1, P-2, or P-3 classification can be approved.

(B) Except as provided in paragraph (p)(7)(i)(E) of this section, evidence of consultation shall be a written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization.

(C) Except as provided in paragraph (p)(7)(i)(E) of this section, the peti

tioner shall obtain a written advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization. The advisory opinion shall be submitted along with the petition when the petition is filed. If the advisory opinion is not favorable to the petitioner, the advisory opinion must set forth a specific statement of facts which support the conclusion reached in the opinion. Advisory opinions must be submitted in writing and signed by an authorized official of the organization.

(D) Except as provided in paragraph (p)(7)(i) (E) and (F) of this section, written evidence of consultation shall be included in the record of every approved petition. Consultations are advisory and are not binding on the Service.

(E) In a case where the Service has determined that a petition merits expeditious handling, the Service shall contact the labor organization and request an advisory opinion if one is not submitted by the petitioner. The labor organization shall have 24 hours to respond to the Service's request. The Service shall adjudicate the petition after receipt of the response from the labor organization. The labor organization shall then furnish the Service with a written advisory opinion within 5 working days of the request. If the labor organization fails to respond within 24 hours, the Service shall render a decision on the petition without the advisory opinion.

(F) In those cases where it is established by the petitioner that an appropriate labor organization does not exist, the Service shall render a decision on the evidence of record.

(ii) Consultation requirements for P-1 athletes and entertainment groups. Consultation with a labor organization that has expertise in the area of the alien's sport or entertainment field is required in the case of a P-1 petition. If the advisory opinion is not favorable to the petitioner, the advisory opinion must set forth a specific statement of facts which support the conclusion reached in the opinion. If the advisory opinion provided by the labor organization is favorable to the petitioner it should evaluate and/or describe the

alien's or group's ability and achievements in the field of endeavor, comment on whether the alien or group is internationally recognized for achievements, and state whether the services the alien or group is coming to perform are appropriate for an internationally recognized athlete or entertainment group. In lieu of the above, a labor organization may submit a letter of no objection if it has no objection to the approval of the petition.

(iii) Consultation requirements for P-1 circus personnel. The advisory opinion provided by the labor organization should comment on whether the circus which will employ the alien has national recognition as well as any other aspect of the beneficiary's or beneficiaries' qualifications which the labor organization deems appropriate. If the advisory opinion is not favorable to the petitioner, it must set forth a specific statement of facts which support the conclusion reached in the opinion. In lieu of the above, a labor organization may submit a letter of no objection if it as no objection to the approval of the petition.

(iv) Consultation requirements for P-2 alien in a reciprocal exchange program. In P-2 petitions where an artist or entertainer is coming to the United States under a reciprocal exchange program, consultation with the appropriate labor organization is required to verify the existence of a viable exchange program. The advisory opinion from the labor organization shall comment on the bona fides of the reciprocal exchange program and specify whether the exchange meets the requirements of paragraph (p)(5) of this section. If the advisory opinion is not favorable to the petitioner, it must also set forth a specific statement of facts which support the conclusion reached in the opinion.

(v) Consultation requirements for P-3 in a culturally unique program. Consultation with an appropriate labor organization is required for P-3 petitions involving aliens in culturally unique programs. If the advisory opinion is favorable to the petitioner, it should evaluate the cultural uniqueness of the alien's skills, state whether the events are cultural in nature, and state whether the event or activity is appro

priate for P-3 classification. If the advisory opinion is not favorable to the petitioner, it must also set forth a specific statement of facts which support the conclusion reached in the opinion. In lieu of the above, a labor organization may submit a letter of no objection if it has no objection to the approval of the petition.

(vi) Consultation requirements for essential support aliens. Written consultation on petitions for P-1, P-2, or P-3 essential support aliens must be made with a labor organization with expertise in the skill area involved. If the advisory opinion provided by the labor organization is favorable to the petitioner, it must evaluate the alien's essentiality to and working relationship with the artist or entertainer, and state whether United States workers are available who can perform the support services. If the advisory opinion is not favorable to the petitioner, it must also set forth a specific statement of facts which support the conclusion reached in the opinion. A labor organization may submit a letter of no objection if it has no objection to the approval of the petition.

(vii) Labor organizations agreeing to provide consultations. The Service shall list in its Operations Instructions for P classification those organizations which have agreed to provide advisory opinions to the Service and/or petitioners. The list will not be an exclusive or exhaustive list. The Service and petitioners may use other sources, such as publications, to identify appropriate labor organizations. The Service will also list in its Operations Instructions those occupations or fields of endeavor where it has been determined by the Service that no appropriate labor organization exists.

(8) Approval and validity of petition(i) Approval. The Director shall consider all the evidence submitted and such other evidence as he or she may independently require to assist in his or her adjudication. The Director shall notify the petitioner of the approval of the petition on Form I-797, Notice of Action. The approval notice shall include the alien beneficiary's name and classification and the petition's period of validity.

(ii) Recording the validity of petitions. Procedures for recording the validity period of petitions are:

(A) If a new P petition is approved before the date the petitioner indicates the services will begin, the approved petition and approval notice shall show the actual dates requested by the petitioner as the validity period, not to exceed the limit specified in paragraph (p)(8)(iii) of this section or other Service policy.

(B) If a new P petition is approved after the date the petitioner indicates the services will begin, the approved petition and approval notice shall generally show a validity period commencing with the date of approval and ending with the date requested by the petitioner, not to exceed the limit specified in paragraph (p)(8)(iii) of this section or other Service policy.

(C) If the period of services requested by the petitioner exceeds the limit specified in paragraph (p)(8)(iii) of this section, the petition shall be approved only up to the limit specified in that paragraph.

(iii) Validity. The approval period of a P petition shall conform to the limits prescribed as follows:

(A) P-1 petition for athletes. An approved petition for an individual athlete classified under section 101(a)(15)(P)(i) of the Act shall be valid for a period up to 5 years. An approved petition for an athletic team classified under section 101(a)(15)(P)(i) of the Act shall be valid for a period of time determined by the Director to complete the competition or event for which the alien team is being admitted, not to exceed 1 year.

(B) P-1 petition for an entertainment group. An approved petition for an entertainment group classified under section 101(a)(15)(P)(i) of the Act shall be valid for a period of time determined by the Director to be necessary to complete the performance or event for which the group is being admitted, not to exceed 1 year.

(C) P-2 and P-3 petitions for artists or entertainers. An approved petition for an artist or entertainer under section 101(a)(15)(P)(ii) or (iii) of the Act shall be valid for a period of time determined by the Director to be necessary to complete the event, activity, or per

formance for which the P-2 or P-3 alien is admitted, not to exceed 1 year.

(D) Spouse and dependents. The spouse and unmarried minor children of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien beneficiary are entitled to P-4 nonimmigrant classification, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the alien beneficiary, if they are accompanying or following to join the alien beneficiary in the United States. Neither the spouse nor a child of the alien beneficiary may accept employment unless he or she has been granted employment authorization.

(E) Essential support aliens. Petitions for essential support personnel to P-1, P-2, and P-3 aliens shall be valid for a period of time determined by the Director to be necessary to complete the event, activity, or performance for which the P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien is admitted, not to exceed 1 year.

(9) Denial of petition–(i) Notice of intent to deny. When an adverse decision is proposed on the basis of derogatory information of which the petitioner is unaware, the Director shall notify the petitioner of the intent to deny the petition and the basis for the denial. The petitioner may inspect and rebut the evidence and will be granted a period of 30 days from the date of the notice in which to do so. All relevant rebuttal material will be considered in making a final decision.

(ii) Notice of denial. The petitioner shall be notified of the decision, the reasons for the denial, and the right to appeal the denial under 8 CFR part 103. There is no appeal from a decision to deny an extension of stay to the alien or a change of nonimmigrant status.

(10) Revocation of approval of petition-(i) General. (A) The petitioner shall immediately notify the Service of any changes in the terms and conditions of employment of a beneficiary which may affect eligibility under section 101(a)(15)(P) of the Act and paragraph (p) of this section. An amended petition should be filed when the petitioner continues to employ the beneficiary. If the petitioner no longer employs the beneficiary, the petitioner shall send a letter explaining the change(s) to the Director who approved the petition.

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