Visa Options for Athletes
We have in-depth knowledge and experience in the various visa options for athletes.
As lead counsel for a Chicago-based professional sports team, Ms. McEntee has provided assistance and representation to foreign-born athletes and support personnel including managers, coaches, and scouts.
Fiona also represents individual athletes in various sports such as Indy Car Racing.
The O-1 visa is reserved for athletes with "extraordinary ability". To obtain an O-1 visa, the athlete must show that he/she is one of the small percentage of people who have risen to the top of the field.
There are two ways to prove O-1 eligibility:
- Receipt of a major internationally recognized award e.g. Olympic medal or
- Provide documentation of three of the following:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes/awards for excellence in the field;
- Membership in organizations in the field that require outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts;
- Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the prospective employee;
- Participation on a panel or as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization;
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance;
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media;
- Current or previous employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
- Past or proffered high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
The McEntee Law Group will review the above criteria to determine if you are eligible for an O-1 visa.
The P-1 visa is available to athletes who have achieved national or international recognition as being outstanding in their discipline.
A P-1 case for an athlete must include:
- A tendered contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a tendered contract in an individual sport indicating international recognition in that sport and
- Documentation of at least two of the following:
- Evidence of participation in a prior season with a major U.S. sports league;
- Evidence of participation in an international competition with a national team;
- Evidence of participation in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition;
- A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how the athlete is internationally recognized;
- A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sports which details how the athlete is internationally recognized;
- Evidence that the athlete is ranked (if the sport has international ranking); or,
- Evidence that the alien or team has received a significant honor or award in the sport.