IMMIGRANT ATHLETES HELP BUILD THE SPORTS FOUNDATION IN THE US
Whether their plan is to live permanently or simply to participate in competitions, there are many opportunities for foreign athletes in America, and AG Immigration can help with your visa and green card process.
The United States is historically the greatest power in the world sports and the greatest Olympic champion. The country constantly produces great athletes and offers the best infrastructure and incentive programs for athletes of all modalities.
From a young age, American children are encouraged to practice the most varied sports, which ends up being fundamental to their social and academic developments, as there are several university scholarships programs for amateur athletes that excel in their activities.
Sports are a fundamental part of American society and culture. With enormous popularity, they serve as a vehicle that unites the country to transmit values such as justice, effort, dedication and teamwork. In addition to being this unifying force, sports are a huge industry, bringing more than $ 70 billion a year in revenue generated to the United States.
Americans are very proud of their sporting achievements, but they couldn’t do it alone. As with all aspects of American society, immigration in sports also makes very significant contributions. As in medicine, information technology, engineering, education, research and development, immigrants in the sports field bring along undeniable talent and skills to one of America’s greatest passions. Notable athletes from all over the world come to delight, entertain and awaken the emotions of the American people.
The number of foreign players is growing in the main American sports and, according to the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), today they represent:
23% of lineups at the National Basketball Association (NBA); 29% in Major League Baseball (MLB) and 72% in National Hockey League (NHL).
At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, for example, the US team had immigrant and foreign athletes competing for gold. Many of these were the children of immigrants who came to the USA on scholarships offered by some of the best educational institutions in the country.
AG Immigration is proud to work so that more and more foreign athletes can bring their extraordinary skills to the USA and develop their potential to the fullest.
USA RECEIVES THE BEST BRAZILIAN ATHLETES
The United States seeks to bring the best talents from other countries so that they can teach their unique techniques and characteristics to American sportsmen, serving as true ambassadors for the development of their respective sports in America.
Brazil is among the countries that sends the most foreign athletes to the United States, whether for temporary exchange, tournament competition, training American athletes or even residing and working in the USA.
Brazilian athletes have a record of standing out among the best in the world. For quite some time now Brazil ceased to be only the “country of soccer”, mainly due to achievements in the last two decades, in which our athletes from other sports have come to be considered as references in their sports.
There is a fundamental component to explaining the success that Brazilian athletes have been achieving; the fact that they are leaving Brazil to participate in competitions, live or simply train in countries that value the sport and recognize the value of its practitioners. Among these countries, the United States stands out.
Perhaps the first great example of how much the presence of Brazilian athletes in the USA is welcomed is Pelé’s arrival in the country during the mid-1970s. After years of glory on Brazilian fields and World Cups, the King of soccer ended his career playing for Cosmos, a team created just to promote and popularize the sport in the United States. Pelé’s stay in the USA until today is remembered as the “ground zero” of soccer in the country.
In the following two decades, the 1980s and 1990s, foreign athletes began to benefit from the infrastructure and training programs that were created in the United States. Modalities such as swimming and athletics were particularly benefited by these programs.
In this century, the presence of foreign athletes in the USA has intensified even more. Thanks to the popularization of MMA and UFC, the arrival of Brazilians in the country has significantly increased. After all, Brazil is still a reference in martial arts, especially in jiu-jitsu. In the past 20 years, many fighters and coaches in this sport have moved to the United States to open or work in martial arts academies, or to compete professionally. Great Brazilian fighters who achieved success and international acclaim in the UFC had to move to the USA in order to reach the top of their careers.
This is the case of the Gracie family, pioneers in promoting jiu-jitsu in the United States, and MMA champions such as Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Fabrício Werdum, all of whom are American residents.
High level instructors and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes hired by wrestling academies in the USA are present mainly in California (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose), New York and Nevada (Las Vegas). In Florida, foreign soccer players and coaches who live, train and work in the USA stand out thanks to the sports immigration options described below.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN TEMPORARY VISAS FOR ATHLETES?
In general, Brazilian athletes travel to the USA on non-immigrant visas, such as P and O visas, which can be used to live and carry out their activities in the country for a specified period of time, always tied to an employer or sponsor in the United States. In addition, depending on the purpose of the trip, as in the case of some amateur competitions, even the B1 / B2 visa (tourism / business) can be used. None of these visas, however, entitles you to permanent living in the United States.
Athletes who come to the United States with the intention of temporarily working in paid jobs as professionals must obtain a work visa. The USA has a variety of visa options available, depending on the athlete’s skills and the nature and duration of the sporting event involved.
Athletes nationally or even internationally recognized for their sporting achievements may be eligible for a non-immigrant O-1 visa. This visa has an initial limit of 3 years and can be renewed for another 1 year. Professionals who are part of the athlete’s team to assist in a specific event or performance may qualify for an O-2 visa, while the athlete’s spouses and children can apply for the O-3 visa to also remain in the USA for a specified time.
Athletes or sports teams who wish to temporarily enter the United States to play in an American professional competition can apply for a P-1 visa. To qualify for a P-1 visa, an athlete must show that he is internationally recognized and is coming to the USA to participate in a league or event with a distinct reputation. The P-1 visa allows extended stays in the USA for up to five years (renewable for a second period of 5 years).
EB VISAS ARE THE BEST OPTION FOR ATHLETESWHO WISH TO LIVE AND PROGRESS ON THEIR CARRIERS IN THE USA WITH A GREEN CARD
Many Brazilian atheletes are still unaware of the fact that the American government has developed a specific visa program that grants a green card to foreigners who can prove that they have a successful career, with awards, achievements and national (or international) recognition in their professional fields. These are “EB” (Employment-based) visas.
EB visas have proven to be an excellent immigration option both for athletes who are still active and for those who have retired more and who wish to continue their careers within the sport, whether as a coach, teacher or exercising some other activity within that specific sporting area in which they excelled.
One of the main advantages of the “EB” visas, especially the EB1-A and EB-2 NIW, is that, depending on the athlete’s professional background, the green card can be awarded without the requirement of having to present a job offer to work in the USA.
As with all types of immigrant visas, it is paramount to hire the services of a law firm that knows the complex US immigration laws to represent a candidate for an “EB” visa. The athlete interested in applying for this visa category will need to present a series of documents that prove his qualification above the average, and a strategy that demonstrates how much his presence in America will be benefit the country.
WHERE IN THE USA ARE THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOREIGN ATHLETES?
In search of improvement, young Brazilian athletes have left their home country attracted by better growth opportunities in the United States. In America, sponsorships and scholarships can be obtained by athletes who excel in their modalities. But where are the best opportunities for these foreigners?
According to a 2019 survey by the Migration Policy Institute, the states of Louisiana and California are the ones that offer the most opportunities for professional foreign athletes, either through scholarships for university students or to work on professional teams in these regions. These states are followed by Georgia, Alabama and Texas.
As for the martial arts fighters mentioned previously, the biggest opportunities are in Florida, especially in Orlando and Miami, where some of the main jiu-jitsu academies in the country are concentrated.
Whatever the city or state, the US seeks and welcomes athletes from all over the world who want to improve their careers and contribute to the development of sports in the country.
Seja qual for a cidade ou estado, os EUA desejam e recebem de braços abertos atletas de todo o mundo que queiram aperfeiçoar suas carreiras e contribuírem para o desenvolvimento do esporte no país.
ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE AND WANT TO INTERNATIONALLY ADVANCE YOUR CAREER? PLEASE CONTACT AG IMMIGRATION.
Regardless of whether your dream is to live permanently, to work for a short period or just to participate in competitions, the USA continues to offer the best opportunities for foreign athletes and their careers.
AG Immigration can assist with your temporary or immigration visa process. Our legal department offers a free evaluation of your chances of getting a green card. To do so, just fill out the form you can find here in this link: https://materiais.agimmigration.law/comece-a-tornar-realidade-seu-sonho-americano. Get to know AG Immigration today and let us help you achieve your American dream.