O-1A Athletics

Every athlete wants to make history and showcase their talent to the world. If you are a talented athlete or sports team aiming to enter the United States, Innovative Immigration Law and its lawyers are here to help!

Not every aspiring and talented athlete successfully enters the U.S. and reaches the American dream. With Innovative Immigration Law, our proficient immigration lawyers can lead you through the application process and support you in proving the eligibility of your enterprise or organization for the O-1A visa. Obtaining an O-1A visa will enable you to train alongside the best talents and coaches in the best facilities. Your dream of training and competing against your favorite athletes may soon become a reality!

Our law firm adopts a customized approach to ensure you receive top-notch legal assistance that suits your specific circumstances. We are aware of the intricacies and difficulties of immigration law, and we are dedicated to making the process as seamless and hassle-free as feasible for you.

Our services include:

  • Assessing your eligibility for a P-1A visa and helping you gather the necessary documentation to demonstrate your international recognition in your sport
  • Preparing and filing your P-1A visa petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Assisting you with the visa application process at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country
  • Providing ongoing support and guidance throughout your stay in the United States

At Innovative Immigration Law, we are committed to helping international athletes achieve their dreams of competing in the United States. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you secure a P-1A visa.

An O1-A Visa is a nonimmigrant visa issued to individuals possessing extraordinary abilities in the field of athletics.

To qualify for an O-1 visa, the individual must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Demonstrate extraordinary ability as exhibited by sustained national or international acclaim.
  2. Individuals belong to one of the small percentages who have achieved the pinnacle of success in their respective fields.
  3. The purpose of entry into the U.S. is temporary, and it is to participate in the area of extraordinary ability.

The supporting documents for an O-1A petition must include evidence that the beneficiary has received a major internationally recognized award or at least three of the following:

  1. Certification attests that the athlete receives an internationally-recognized award for excellence in the sport.
  2. Document of membership in a sports association that demands outstanding achievement from its members and as evaluated by either national or international experts in the field.
  3. Published materials in professional publications or major media citing the beneficiary or individual’s works. 
  4. Participation as a sole judge or as part of a panel of judges for the work of others in the same or allied sport.
  5. Evidence of the individual’s scholarly contributions of major significance in their sports field.
  6. Authorship of the individual in scholarly articles in relation to their field of expertise.
  7. Employment is someone holding a critical or essential capacity in an organization that has a distinguished reputation in the field of sports the athlete belongs to.

There following are documents needed to be prepared and submitted to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the O-1A Visa Interview:

  • Athlete’s valid passport
  • Athlete’s photo according to the U.S. Visa Photo Requirements
  • DS-160 confirmation code
  • Visa interview letter
  • Payment receipts
  • Form I-797
  • Proof that the athlete has a job or activities lined up in the U.S. (such as a letter from your employer or a contract)
  • Proof of athlete’s extraordinary abilities (this should be the same proof that the U.S. employer handed to USCIS)
  • If you are planning to bring your family, you must submit proof of your relationship to them (marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children).

The O-1A Visa is valid for three (3) years. It allows the visa holder to stay in the U.S. for three years before they must go back to their home country or apply for an extension.

The following are the steps on how to apply for an O-1A Visa (Athletics):

  1. U.S. employer files Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) before the USCIS on behalf of the athlete. There must be consultation with the appropriate labor organization to prove extraordinary ability. 
  2. Following the approval of Form I-129, Form DS-160 is filed. Form DS-160 is the electronic application form that everyone who applies for a U.S. visa has to file.
  3. Payment of the O1 visa fees. Print out the Confirmation Page, and then attach it to the document file.
  4. Scheduling an appointment for a visa interview in the U.S. embassy or consulate (if overseas) or with the nearest U.S. mission.
  5. Attendance of the interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Submission of the required documents takes place during the scheduled interview. 
  6. Release of the visa application result. 

It usually takes two to three months for the USCIS to process an O1 visa application. However, applicants may be able to fast-track their application through the Premium Processing Option. To avail of this option, the applicant must pay the premium processing fee, which is more expensive than the regular processing time option. Through the Premium Processing option, the applicant can expect an answer on their visa application within only 15 days from the date of payment and submission of the requirements.

A foreign athlete who has an O-1A Visa enjoys the following benefits:

  1. Freedom of movement within and outside the U.S. 
  2. Visa extension may be petitioned for renewal indefinitely at one year each time.
  3. There is greater employment flexibility since it does not mandate the applicant to have a specific job offer in the U.S. 
  4. Beneficiaries may petition and bring their dependents to the U.S. to accompany them.
  5. O-1A visa holders may qualify for the EB-1 immigrant visa (Green Card) since they have similar requirements, which are for people who have high achievements. 
  6. O-1A and their dependents are allowed to study in the U.S. during their stay in the country.

Innovative Immigration Lawyers have successfully helped countless foreign athletes and their families qualify for the O-1A visa. In spite of the moniker that O-1A visas are very difficult to obtain, our team of vetted lawyers and talented staff. 

If you’re an athlete aspiring to live the American dream and showcase your talent to the world, the O1A visa is the visa for you! However, it is equally important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to help you and your family manage and navigate through the application process. With our help, you can rest assured that your visa application process is in good hands. 

Let Us Help You, Your Immigration, & Your Family

We understand that immigration can be a complex and stressful process. That’s why we’re here to help you every step of the way. We’ll work with you to understand your individual needs and goals, and we’ll develop a personalized plan to help you achieve them. We’re here to provide you with the peace of mind you need so you can focus on what’s important: your future

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