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Types of Visas for Professional Athletes

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Many people think that choosing an immigration lawyer is as simple as choosing your favorite dish from a hotel menu. But this is not completely true because there are several different categories for which one can need an immigration lawyer and different immigration lawyers wheel in different immigration categories. For instance, if you wish to go to the USA for any business tour on medical purpose, you need a multiple tourist visa and you must consult and immigration lawyer who is professional in dealing with multiple tourist visa.

In the same way, there are several artist and athletes who need visas for their particular performance so, they need different immigration lawyers who are professionals dealing in visa for professionals in the United States. Professional athletes can choose to apply for different visas including a P-1 visa or an O-1 visa. And if they are not paid in the United States then they should choose to take a B-1 tourist visa. Therefore, for the best advice regarding the type of visas, only an experienced immigration lawyer for professional athletes will be able to help you navigate the complex immigration law system.

Types of Visas for Athletes

P-1 Visas

Any individual athlete who is participating in international competitions can choose to have P-1 visa. This means I can also be used by a team of athletes who are required to perform in a league in which there would be 6 or more teams having a combined revenue more than $10,000,000 (USD).

An athlete applying for a  P-1 visa need to show that:

  • The individual athlete or the team is recognized internationally.
  • There is a distinguished reputation of the athletic competition.
  • at the time of submitting the documents to USCIS, there is a need to provide any contract with the USA sports league with international recognition.  

O-1 Visas

Any athlete who is one of the best athletes in his field or has any extraordinary ability can apply for an O-1 visa. In this visa, foreign nationals are allowed to work for pay until the tomb of the USCIS application.

The visa is a granted to the athlete for the time for which he has work in the country. The maximum time for which the athlete can be issued a visa is 3 years which is only for the first time. In order to apply for O-1 visa, a U.S. organization is required to file an immigration petition on the behalf of an athlete. The role of us organization can be of an employer or agent.

B-1 Tourist Visas

This is another category of visa and there can be many professional athletes who get an opportunity to compete in the US on tourist visa. They can get  B-1 or B-2 tourist visas. all the professional athletes who do not get any salary or remuneration other than the decided price money can participate in the sports events in the USA on B-1 visa as long as:

  • The athlete of other country or the foreign team have their own place of business.
  • The income of the foreign sports team and it’s players salary is accrued in foreign country.
  • the foreign sports team must be a recognized member of international sports league.  

As proper documentation and filing is needed at the time of getting a visa, proper guidance and assistance of a professional immigration lawyer are must so that chances of getting Visa on time increases.


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