Sport Visas

Raleigh Sports Visa Attorneys

Legal Help for Sports Professionals Traveling to the U.S.

Many athletes around the world travel to the U.S. for work, and they need to obtain the proper visas when doing so. A variety of visa types allow sports professionals to travel legally, each corresponding to different circumstances.

If you are an athlete or coach and you need a sports visa for work, we can help. We have extensive experience helping all types of individuals obtain temporary legal status in the U.S., and we are prepared to handle a variety of scenarios for travelling athletes.

Call Gardner Law, PLLC today at (919) 355-5134 to discuss your questions with our sports visa attorneys in Raleigh. In your initial consultation, we can help you get started on filing for a visa.

O-1 & P-1 Visas for Athletes

The O-1 visa is for individuals with “extraordinary ability” in certain fields, including athletics, who are travelling to the U.S. to carry out work related to that ability. An athlete is considered to have “extraordinary ability” if he or she has gained national or international fame. The athlete’s coach, trainer, or manager may qualify for an O-2 visa to also travel to the U.S.

The P-1 visa is appropriate for professional athletes and sports teams that need to travel together for a competition in the U.S. In order to utilize a P-1 visa, the event the athletes are travelling for must be internationally recognized. Essential Support Personnel such as coaches, scouts, trainers or other team officials central to the performance of the athlete or team may also be eligible for a visa.

B-1 Business Visitor Visa

Some athletes may qualify for a B-1 business-related visa, which typically applies to individuals traveling to the U.S. for strictly professional purposes. Individual professional athletes can come to the U.S. with a B-1 visa to participate in a special sporting event or competition. They cannot receive a salary in the U.S. except for prize or reward money, which is one of the main differences between the B-1 and the P-1 visa. Furthermore, the B-1 is also available to amateur hockey players travelling to the U.S. for try-outs.

EB-1C Employment-Based Immigrant Visa

The EB-1C visa, otherwise known as “Employment-Based Extraordinary Ability Green Card,” is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Coaches and athletes must show that they have achieved international recognition in their respective field, such as a gold medal, first-place showing, or other international awards or accolades.

Take the Stress Out of Traveling Internationally as an Athlete by Calling Our Firm

At Gardner Law, PLLC, your success is our priority. Attorney Gardner is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the North Carolina State Bar, making her a recognized and trusted advocate in the field.

If you need assistance obtaining a visa for sports-related immigration, do not hesitate to contact our Raleigh attorneys today.

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Case Results

Results That Speak for Themselves
  • Approved Green Card AC21 Portability at the I-485 Interview

    We worked with her and her new employer to finalize her employment, prepare the I-485 Supplement J and gather the documentation to present at her interview under AC21 to allow her to port her I-140 and green card application.

  • Approved for Adjustment of Status Family Member Adjustment of Status Granted

    Our client wanted to apply for adjustment of status via the 245i form, based on her sister’s US Citizenship that was granted many years prior to our case.

  • Secured Their Green Cards H2B to LPR

    After successfully getting Form 9089 certified by the Dept of Labor for supervisory positions with the company, we were able to reach out to the employees and work with the company to submit an I-140/I-485 petition which was successfully approved.

  • Waiver Approved I-601A Waiver

    Waver was pending for almost one year, but it was approved and we are currently working on consular processing.

  • Received Certificate of Citizenship N-600

    This LPR client came to us worried about naturalizing because she had a bad criminal record and her naturalization application would probably be denied. After a thorough review of her family history, we realized she was already a US citizen through the Child Citizenship Act.

  • Secure a New P1 Visa for 3 Years P1 Visa

    We were able to work with his new manager to put together the needed information about their business, required licenses, and his ability to secure a new P1 visa for 3 years.

  • Released from ICE / Pending Work Permit Removal (Bond Motion)

    Immigrant had a prior order of removal from over 10 years ago. He was detained by ICE again and his US citizen wife hired us to try to get him out. We filed a Motion To Reopen his In Absentia Order with the immigration court in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Green Card was Granted Same-Sex, Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status

    The petition did not have any red flags but the USCIS officer interviewed them separately (Stokes Interview) and asked incredibly specific and detailed questions about their finances, work history, and friends and family.

  • Filed for I-918 U-Visa Petition U Visa Certification

    Re-submitted the request, along with the USCIS regulations noting that she had met the requirements in having provided assistance as well as her state of mind following the incident.

  • Renew Existing I-765 While Pending VAWA & I-48 VAWA

    We submitted her application, received a prima facie determination, and asked for her marriage-based I-485 to be held in abeyance until the I-360 VAWA petition could be approved.


The Right Attorneys

May Make All the Difference in the Outcome of Your Case
  • High Quality Legal Representation

    As a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the North Carolina State Bar, Attorney Gardner has a reputation for professionalism and elite representation.

  • Your Success Is Our Priority

    Hiring a knowledgeable and passionate immigration attorney to represent your interests is one of the most important steps you can take. When you come to us, we will take a personal interest in your case because we genuinely care about your success.

  • Hablamos Español

    Lead Attorney Gardner is a world traveler who speaks fluent Spanish; the entire Gardner Law support team is fluent in Spanish as well. Our attorney will personally handle each legal aspect of your case. We will help you obtain the sense of ease and peace of mind you deserve during this trying and difficult time.

  • We Educate Clients

    We will review your case, inform you of your rights, and guide you in the path that best suits your needs. We will fully equip you to make informed decisions every step of the way. We will offer you the zealous advocacy and compassionate support you deserve.