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How Do I Get a U.S. Sports Visa?

A runner, football player, and basketball player running in a stadium.

Sports visas (also known as P visas) are short-term work visas that allow athletes, athletic teams and entertainment entities (such as circuses) to compete or work in the U.S. Foreign nationals who are coaches, family members or other support personnel of athletes will need to apply for a visa to accompany athletes during their stay in the U.S. Here’s some information to help you get started.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a Sports Visa?

To be eligible for a sports visa, athletes must prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that he/she has a contract with a professional U.S. sports league or team, or are involved in an international sporting event. In addition to providing a sports contract, there are other types of additional proof that must be submitted to be eligible for a sports visa. An immigration attorney can assist you in obtaining the proper proof and documentation to avoid any delays in the process.

What Type of Sports Visa Do Do You Need?

There are many different types of sports visas and which one you will need depends on your role as an athlete or support personnel. The following common types of sports visas may be applicable to your situation:

Temporary Visas for Professional Athletes

  • P-1A Visa
  • B-1 Visitor Visa
  • O-1 Visa

Permanent Visas for Professional Athletes

  • EB-1 Visa

Temporary Visas for Amateur Athletes

  • B-1 Visitor Visa

Temporary Visas for Amateur Athletes Staying Over 6 Months

  • F-1 Student Visa
  • P-1 Visa

Visas for Coaches and Support Staff

  • P-1S Visa

How to Obtain a Sports Visa

While getting a sports visa is typically not a long process and can be obtained quickly, making mistakes on your application can set you back. Attempting to file for a sports visa on your own leaves you at risk of a denial.

Whether you are an athlete or support personnel to an athlete or team, having an immigration attorney who understands the legalities of the sports visa process can make all the difference. If you need assistance with obtaining a sports visa contact The Sekou Clarke Law Group at (407) 269-8774 to learn more about how our immigration lawyers in Florida & New York can help you with all of your needs.

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