Here are 5 key things you need to know about Sports Immigration to United States.
1. Temporary visa types
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability
- Must be top of their field
- Must be supported by awards, media, high pay, elite groups, key member of distinguished organization
- Must compete, Coach or Management
- 3 years, extendable indefinitely
- May include Support Personnel
- P-1 (“Internationally Recognized as Exceptional”)
- Athletes and support personnel
- Supported by ranking, playing for national team, played at US college, expert or governing body opinion.
- Must compete and endorsements
- 5 year long visas
- H-2B: Seasonal
- Must coach, compete or management
- One year long visa
- The organization must recruit and pay fee and costs.
2. Permanent Residency (Green Cards)
- EB-1: Extraordinary Ability
- Top of field, sustained success, similar but higher standard than O-1. Can be filed by Self Petitioner.
- EB-2: Exceptional Ability
- Special labor certification requires no recruitment
- Degree of success but lower level than EB-1.
- Requires Employer to Petition
- EB-3 and Advanced Degree or Experienced EB-2:
- Requires showing that no Americans are willing or able to perform job through recruitment through series of advertising processes.
- Must pay prevailing wage.
3. Agent based O-1 and P-1 visas
These permit numerous direct employers and income including sponsors from outside US for visa holders.
4. Proving ties to home country
Proving ties to home country is important when processing visas through consulates. Understand that certain crimes including misdemeanors can be barriers to obtaining visa.
5. Maximize your chance of approval
Well drafted expert and governing body letters can be used to explain evidence to win visa petitions.
Download the Cheat Sheet (PDF)