The reality is that P Visas are an expensive endeavor for many athletes and coaches looking to compete in the United States. Especially up and coming athletes who do not receive a large amount of compensation for their competitions... yet. The reality is also that P Visas are necessary to compete the RIGHT WAY and there are SERIOUS consequences to competing on visitor visas and getting paid.
Being sensitive to the needs of athletes, our law firm's goal is the make the P Visa work for the athlete in a manner that is thorough and cost effective. In fact, in many cases, our law firm reserves collection of some of the legal fees until the visa is approved.
While many athletes find it tempting to compete on a visitor visa due to the cost of obtaining a P visa, there are serious reasons to do things the right way:
1. It is the law of the land
USCIS requires that most artists and athletes that come to the United States and receive compensation must obtain a P Visa. A Visitor B1/B2 Visa is not appropriate because it is unlawful to receive compensation while on a Visitor Visa.
2. Too many athletes are getting caught
Many fighters are starting to pay the price for competing on Visitor Visas. One reason is because it is not hard to track. When anyone comes to the United States on a Visitor Visa, notes are logged with consular offices and USCIS. Typically if an athlete competes in a sanctioned competition there will be a paper trail of payment that is easily obtained by government officials.
3. Waivers are hard to get
Criminal records and immigration violations can lead to the denial of P Visa applications. In these instances waivers may be available to continue with the process but can be expensive to prepare and not always granted. Fortunately, our law firm does handle P Visa waivers for athletes but it is best to avoid needing one in the first place.
4. P-visas can last a long time when prepared correctly
For a competition, a P Visa will typically only be granted for a couple of months. However, a properly explained and prepared P Visa for an employment contract can last for years. The employment contract can be for management, coaching, participating as a paid training partner at a gym, or other purposes.
5. Could cause problems later
Once you get caught competing and getting paid for it without a P Visa, you will have problems. It may not happen the first time or the second time, but the likelihood is high under the current administration. While waivers are available, they are not a guarantee. The best practice is just to do it correctly in the first place by obtaining the P Visa.
HELP WITH FUNDING P VISA APPLICATION
The good news is that there are ways to mitigate the expense of obtaining the P visa or getting creative in how to fund the process. Remember that the athlete's participation in the competition is not just to the benefit of the athlete but also other parties as well such as competitors, event promoters, sponsors, and fans.
1. Base the P Visa on an employment opportunity rather than just a single bout
This is simple. P Visa for a single competition only lasts for a couple months while an employment opportunity can last years.
2. Do not forget to use the P visa as a bargaining chip when negotiation a competition agreement
Do not hesitate to bring up the costs of the P Visa to event promoters and your competitors. There are countless instances with foreign athletes are brought in to compete because they are the only ones that will take the opportunity. This can be used to the advantage of the foreign athlete.
3. Consider finding a sponsor to pay for the cost of the Visa
There are many companies around the world, not just in the United States, that support athletes endeavors through sponsorship. Sometimes, coming to them with the request of paying for a specific expense is easier that a than general request.
4. Use Crowd Justice to work with your network and story to raise money for the cost of Visa
CrowdJustice's mission is to ensure everyone has access to the legal system, not just those who can afford it at the time. Applying the crowdfunding model to the law is an ideal solution for clients who have a story to tell and need resources to assert their rights and/or seek legal relief.
All our clients have to do to get started on CrowdJustice is visit https://www.crowdjustice.com/get-started/ and mention Queen City Immigration Law.
Thank you for your interest and we look forward to working for you. To continue with the process please visit the appropriate in-take form.