Typically, applying for and receiving a visa to come to the United States can be a lengthy process. The normal visa application process can take up to five weeks to receive a decision. Fortunately, there are many types of visas for various occupations or needs that you can complete quicker.
If you are a professional athlete looking to travel to the United States, you may be eligible to apply for a P1A Visa. The P1A Visa is reserved for teams or athletes looking to travel to the U.S. for a scheduled period of time. You may be able to receive a decision on your eligibility in as little as 15 days.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Not just any athlete or entertainer can be accepted for a P1A visa. As a professional athlete, you must be able to meet two of the following requirements:
- Show you participated in a professional U.S. sport at some time
- Participate in international games with your national team
- Produce a written letter from U.S. sports league or official proving international recognition
- Prove that you have received noteworthy awards in your sport
- Receive an international ranking in your sport
How can you apply?
The first step in the application process is receiving a sponsor. They will usually be affiliated with the association you will be playing in. To begin the process, you must:
- File your petition for a P1A visa
- Complete the DS-160 and i-129 forms
- Pay any necessary fees
- Gather evidence to prepare for your interview
If you are a professional athlete that is planning on coming to the United States, speaking with an experienced immigration lawyer can help you. They can help you get ready for the final visa interview. This includes gathering evidence and helping you prepare for any interview questions.