VIDEO: St. Louis Immigration Attorney Jim Hacking Discusses the P1 Entertainer Visa

What visa is available for entertainers from overseas who want to come to the United States and work in a show? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration attorney practicing law here in St Louis, Missouri. You might be surprised to find out that our little immigration office in St Louis, Missouri, has handled a fair amount of entertainers visas over the years. We’ve had clients in the past who support touring shows from Bosnia, musical performers who want to come to the United States. We’ve worked on a lot of those cases. Lately, we’ve been working on a lot of cases involving the P1 visa.

The P1 visa allows an entertainer or an entertainment act to come to the United States and to work for a limited period of time performing in a show. Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of work for Circus Flora and that’s a really exciting part of our practice. We’ve been really lucky to partner with Circus Flora and to help them bring the performers that they need here to perform in their annual show. Let me tell you a little bit about Circus Flora. Circus Flora was started almost 20, 25 years ago and they perform every year back behind Powell Symphony Hall. They raise a big red top.

Circus Flora is named after the elephant that used to perform; her name was Flora. The circus is one of St Louis’ best fine art traditions. Kids and adults alike really get excited about Circus Flora. We look forward to going to Circus Flora every year. It’s a very small intimate show. You’re right up there where the action is and there’s all kinds of trapeze artists and jugglers and animal acts. We have been lucky enough to help bring in performers 3 of the last 6 years. We’re working on our third application now. In the past, we brought in a guy named Julian Posada who was a low-wire act, who could walk across a wire and do flips, all kinds of amazing things.

We were also able to help bring in Ariel Mirror from South America. They were twin sisters who did a show balancing high above the ground and it was very, very exciting. This year, we’re working on a P1 visa for Kate and Pasi. They’re an act from Finland. We think it’s really going to be an exciting addition to this year’s show. If you have any questions about the P1 visa, the way it usually works is that you file a I129 with the immigration service. Before you do that, we have to get clearance from the American union that governs circus workers to make sure that they certify that there aren’t any Americans who are capable of performing this type of a performance.

We got that letter and we sent off the application here very recently. We’re very hopeful that it gets approved. We’re confident that it will. We’re glad that we’re able to help Circus Flora and that our clients are able to bring the acts that they want to the United States, so that everyone in St Louis and the surrounding areas can see these great performances. It’s a real hoot to work on these cases. They’re exciting. We were able to develop good evidence that these guys are the only ones who can do this do this show. Not only did we get the letter from the union, we also got an affidavit from a circus expert. If you can believe that; there are circus experts.

We feel confident that the immigration service is going to approve the application. If you have any questions about Circus Flora or about how P1 visas work, feel free to give us a call: 314-961-8200 or you can email me jim@hackinglapractice.com. We will also put a link to Circus Flora’s website and to this year’s show, which is called The Pawn, on our website. Thanks a lot. Have a good day.