Are eSports Athletes Eligible To Apply For A P-1 Visa?

  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: February 14, 2020
Are eSports Athletes Eligible To Apply For A P-1 Visa?

In recent years athletes from around the world have come to the United States to participate in eSports tournaments. This came after a 2013 decision when USCIS approved its first P-1 visa for an eSports athlete to participate in a U.S. competition. This demonstrated that USCIS was no longer resistant to considering an eSports gamer an athlete and opened the door to thousands of other eSports athletes. This has helped to broaden the U.S.’s impact on the eSports market.

P-1A Visas For eSports Athletes

P-1A visas are available to internationally recognized athletes and teams that are coming to the United States to participate in a specific competition. P-1A visas require a high level of achievement in your field. Applicants for P-1A visas mist show that they have a degree of skill and recognition that goes substantially beyond the ordinary. This can be demonstrated by showing renowned achievements and that you are well known in multiple countries. Each individual application will be evaluated on its own merits.

Required Evidence

A successful P-1A petition must include evidence that the eSports athlete meets the necessary P visa criteria. This evidence can include:

  • Proof of the athlete’s gaming achievements in other competitions around the world. The athlete must demonstrate skill above their peers if they are applying as an individual and not as part of a team. It should be shown that the athlete is internationally ranked or has received important awards.
  • Proof that the athlete is coming to the U.S. to participate in an athletic event of distinction
  • Evidence of the athlete’s history in eSports competitions. This can include pay stubs, media coverage, or signed letters
  • Letters from an organization that governs eSports leagues attesting to how the athlete’s work has been essential to their success.

Benefits Of A P-1 Visa

Athletes who have a P-1 visa are eligible to stay in the U.S. for five (5) years with extensions not to exceed ten (10) years. Spouses and dependent children may also obtain P visas to come and live in the U.S. They will not be permitted to work, however. In addition, essential support personnel may also be eligible for P visas.

Contact An Experienced Visa Attorney

If you are seeking to apply for a P visa, you may want the experience of a visa attorney on your side. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.

Magdalena Cuprys, Esq.

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how
important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands
how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

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