Immigration Sports Law


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  • Andorra, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Norway, Austria, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, San Marino, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, South Korea, Finland, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Malta, Sweden, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands, United Kingdom.
  • File with USCIS:Collect all relevant documents/informationPrepare required petition/applicationFile with appropriate USCIS service centerUSCIS processes petition/applicationUSCIS may send Request for Evidence (“RFE”)USCIS mails final decision (approval/denial notice)Visa Application:Schedule appointment at U.S. ConsulateFile appropriate form with ConsulateAttend appointment at Consulate and submit supporting documentationConsulate may request additional informationDOS issues visa in passport and mails passport to FNEnter U.S. at BorderCBP reviews FN passport, visa stamp, and approval notice Admits FN to U.S. according to status/approval notice
  • The T-7 countries include Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North, Korea, Sudan and Syria.  26 countries are Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
  • Requirements:Sponsor: Agent or EmployerConsultation from trade group, expert, or unionEvidence of “international recognition” or team contractIf team, evidence of league membership or affiliationSupport lettersLetters of IntentEvidence of achievements (awards, prizes, DVD footage)Process:Must first file petition with USCISOnce approved, FN must apply for visa stamp at U.S. ConsulateFN applies for admission on U.S. borderStatus and stay may be extended while FN remains in the U.S.
  • Difficult to say who would qualify for this category. Sportsperson must:Need job offer from team in US that is affiliated with foreign network of sports competitionsSport must have sufficient exposure outside of U.S. to be in foreign league or association of 15 teamsSufficient exposure within/ U.S. to be an NCAA-regulated sportForeign league must be a source for drafting players into professional or amateur “major sports league”
  • RequirementsSponsor: Agent or EmployerConsultation from trade group, expert, or unionEvidence that FN is “one of the small percentage who have arisen to the top of the field”Support lettersLetters of IntentEvidence of achievements (awards, prizes, DVD footage)Process:Must first file petition with USCISOnce approved, FN must apply for visa stamp at U.S. ConsulateFN applies for admission on U.S. borderStatus and stay may be extended while FN remains in the U.S.O-1 athlete may be traded
  • Immigration Sports Law

    1. 1. “Getting in the Game” April 27, 2011 Jill K. Soubel, Esq. The Rudnick Spector Firm Philadelphia, PA© 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    2. 2. Jill K. Soubel, Esq. Sr. Associate 1608 Walnut St., Ste. 1700 Philadelphia, PA 19103 T: (215) 690 – 5090 E:© 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    3. 3.  Introduction Terminology • Non-Immigrant v. Immigrant • Visa v. Stay v. Status • Visa Types Nonimmigrant Process • Filing in the U.S. • Visa Application at a U.S. Consulate • Entering the U.S. • Extending Status & Stay in the U.S. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    4. 4.  Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) B-1 Visa P-1 Visa O-1 Visa Immigrant Visas Hypotheticals © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    5. 5.  The Law • Immigration & Nationality Act • 8 CFR – Regulations • Title 9 Foreign Affairs Manual The Players • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  USCIS: US Citizenship & Immigration Services  CBP: Customs & Border Protection  ICE: Immigration & Customs Enforcement • Department of State (DOS)  U.S. Embassy/Consulates © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    6. 6.  Nonimmigrant: a foreign national (“FN”) who legally enters the U.S. for a limited amount of time without the intent to reside permanently in the U.S. • Permissible Activities: Travel, work, study • Limited duration of stay • Dual Intent: Certain nonimmigrants are allowed to intend to reside permanently in the U.S. (H-1B, L-1) © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    7. 7.  Immigrant: a FN who legally enters the U.S. with the intention of permanent residing in the U.S. • Basis for immigrant status  Family  Work • Preference system with limited number of immigrant visas available each year • Backlogs based on preference and nationality of the intending immigrant © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    8. 8.  Visa • A visa is a stamp that is affixed by a U.S. Consulate to a FN’s passport • A visa allows a FN to present him/herself for admission to the U.S. at the “border” • The border can be: Land, Sea, or Air • Visa can be nonimmigrant or immigrant © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    9. 9. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    10. 10.  Stay • Amount of time FN is admitted to U.S., as determined by DOS and/or USCIS • At U.S. border, FN will receive I-94 card with red entry stamp, indicating length of permitted stay. • If extending stay in U.S., FN will receive a new I-94 card at bottom of approval notice. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    11. 11. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    12. 12.  Status • Authority by which FN is in the U.S. • Nonimmigrants: “H-1B status” • Immigrants: Legal Permanent Resident (“LPR”) status • Is evidenced by relevant approval document (USCIS notice, I-94 card, LPR card) © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    13. 13. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    14. 14.  Visa Waiver Program (VWP) • Certain FNs require no visa to enter U.S. • 36 countries participate • Restrictions:  Admitted to U.S. for 90 days or less  Leisure travel  Certain business travel (meetings, attend training/conference) Nonimmigrant MVPs: • B: Leisure or limited business travel • E: Treaty Trader/Investors/Specialty Occupation • F: Student Visas • J: Cultural Exchange/Au Pair/Summer Work Travel/Trainee • H: Professional workers • L: Intracompany transferees • O: Extraordinary Ability FNs • P: Athletes, Artists, Entertainment Groups © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    15. 15.  Begin in U.S. • File with USCIS • Visa application to DOS at U.S. Consulate • Enter U.S. at border after CBP inspection © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    16. 16.  Begin at Consulate • Small class of nonimmigrants process solely at U.S. Consulate: B, E, Blanket L Canadians • Do not require visas • Skip U.S. Consulate • Process at border • UNLESS: inadmissibility issues (i.e. criminal) © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    17. 17.  Visitors for Business (B-1) or Pleasure (B-2) Most temporary of all visas/status Visa (if required) only valid for up to one year Will be admitted to U.S. for up to 6 months Limited scope of permissible activities © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    18. 18.  Professionals (B-1) • Participating in tournament/event • May not received salary • May receive prize money • Athlete/team members may compete against another sports team IF:  Principally based abroad;  Income/salaries principally accrued abroad; and,  Member of international sports league or event involved has international dimension. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    19. 19.  Amateurs (B-2) • Participating in athletic event/tournament • NOT member of professional association • No remuneration/prize money • Incidentals may be reimbursed © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    20. 20.  Must make appointment at U.S. Consulate Must pay applicable fee – at least $140 USD Burden of proof at U.S. Consulate: • Event/tournament bona fide & certain • Invitation • Intended stay is temporary • Sufficient ties to home country • Sufficient funds to support stay in U.S. & return to home country • Round-trip airfare or itinerary © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    21. 21.  Common Consular Issues • I didn’t realize I needed a visa and my event is tomorrow! • I’m Mexican, but I live in Nigeria. Can I apply for my visa as a third-country national? • I’m Moroccan, Cuban, Iranian, Egyptian, Turkish… • Oh, I forgot to mention the drug arrest/manslaughter conviction/time served for petty theft… © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    22. 22.  For Athletes & Coaches (P-1) Granted in 5 year increments, renewable indefinitely Support personnel (P-1S) – Coaches “highly skilled” Dependent family members (P-4) Requirements Process begins in U.S. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    23. 23.  Four Categories of Eligibility: 1. Athlete performing at “internationally recognized level” 2. Athletes employed by teams in major professional association or minor league affiliates 3. Athletes or Coaches employed by team/franchise located in U.S., that is qualifying member of foreign amateur league or association 4. Professional or amateur in theatrical ice skating production © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    24. 24.  Athlete or team performing at “internationally recognized level”  “Degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered”  “Renowned, leading, or well-known in more than one country”  If team, 75% of athletes must have 1 yr. with team.  Must meet 2 of the following:  Played significantly in prior season with major US sports league or U.S. college/university,  Participated in international competition with national team,  Letter from sport governing body detailing FN/team’s internationally recognition  Letter from sports media or expert  International rankings  Significant honor or award in sport © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    25. 25.  Athletes employed by teams in major professional association or minor league affiliates • For “professionals” in large commercial sports • Employed by a team that is member of association that:  Consists of 6 or more professional teams  Combined revenues exceeding $10 Million/year  Governs conduct of members  Regulates regular member-attended contests and exhibitions © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    26. 26.  Athletes or Coaches employed by amateur team/franchise located in U.S. Team must belong to foreign amateur league or association with 15 or more members Compete at “highest” amateur level in relevant country Athletes ineligible to earn scholarship or participate in sport at U.S. College/University under NCAA “Significant number” must be drafted by major sports league or minor league affiliate © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    27. 27.  For Athletes & Coaches (O-1) Support personnel (O-2) Dependent family members (O-3) Renewable indefinitely Requirements:“one of the small percentage who have arisen to the top of the field” Process © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    28. 28.  Must show at least 3 of the following to prove extraordinariness: • Nationally/Internationally recognized prize/award for excellence • Membership in associations requiring excellence • Published material about athlete in major trade/media • Participation as a judge of others in the field • Current/prior employment in critical capacity or distinguished organization • Past or proffered comparatively high salary • Any comparable evidence © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    29. 29.  Required for primary beneficiary AND separately for support personnel Provided by regulating body/union If no regulating entity, no consultation required Support personnel consultation must address why no U.S. worker qualified to perform role Can take weeks to obtain Associated fees © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    30. 30. E visa (treaty investors/traders): L-1 (intracompany)Q (cultural visitors) © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    31. 31.  EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Alien  No sponsor required  One-time achievement (major, international award) OR 3 of the following  Receipt of lesser national/international prize or award  Memberships in associations;  Published material about FN in trade or mass media  Judged others in field;  Served in lead/critical role for distinguished organization; and,  Commanded high salary. EB-2/EB-3 PERM © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    32. 32.  Polly Payne is Australian. She attended the University of Texas, where she competed as a triathlete for the Long Horns. Polly will graduate in May. She will return to Sydney to start training for the Big Easy Tri in New Orleans, LA, which will take place in September, and the Turkey Trot Duathalon in Plymouth, MA, which will take place in November. She really wants to “make it” as a triathlete in the U.S., but knows that only her Aussie coach can take her there! Jean-Luc Canard, a Canadian national, is an amateur hockey player in Toronto, Canada. The Flyers would like to bring him to play with the team for a try-out during the play-offs. What do the Flyers need to do to bring him over? © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    33. 33.  Jessica Jumper, a Bulgarian national, is a professional stadium jumper and horse trainer. She competed in the Olympics on behalf of Bulgaria, coming in 37th place, and regularly travels within Europe to compete on her trusty stead, BPO Visa Challenge. She has won at some major shows, including at one Grand Prix and she belongs to the Hungarian and British Equestrian Federation. She has an offer of employment from the Bryn Mawr High Flyers stable to train and compete. Coach Muddleworthshire’s UK national reserve champion cricket team has been invited to participate in a number of exhibition sporting matches in the U.S. The team is nothing without him, and he must accompany them to ensure their top performance. Secretly, Coach Muddleworthshire would like to open cricket franchises throughout the U.S., and would like the option to remain in the U.S. for as long as possible. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    34. 34. Ms. Soubel is an Associate at The Rudnick Spector Firm, having served in this capacitywith its predecessor firm beginning in 2007. Ms. Soubel was selected as a 2010 Top YoungAttorney “Rising Star” by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.Ms. Soubel counsels clients on U.S. and global immigration matters. She concentrates in allaspects of U.S. corporate immigration, including nonimmigrant visas and permanentresidence for intracompany transferees, professionals, and extraordinary ability individuals.She also assists clients with global immigration needs by preparing outbound business-related visas. She advises on and crafts corporate strategies for clients to ensure U.S.immigration law compliance.Prior to practicing exclusively in immigration law, Ms. Soubel gained several years ofemployment litigation experience representing employers and their insurance providers inWorkers’ Compensation matters.Throughout her career, Ms. Soubel has been actively involved with international affairs andthe immigrant community. In 2003, she interned as a Law Clerk in Tokyo, Japan, at SakuraKyodo Law Offices in the International Law Department, where she advised on matters ofU.S. immigration, corporate, and antitrust law, and gained experience in Japan’simmigration system. She served as a member of the Temple International and ComparativeLaw Journal, while pursuing her legal studies at Temple University. Prior to practicinglaw, Ms. Soubel also served as an EFL Instructor.Education:James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University, 2004, J.D.University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2000, BA with Honors. © 2011 Jill K. Soubel
    35. 35. Stacey Leigh Spector, a Founding Partner of The Rudnick Spector Firm, is among the country’sleading immigration lawyers. She has been practicing immigration law for over 25 years, and is afounding partner of The Rudnick Spector Firm. Ms. Spector’s practice encompasses a fullspectrum of business immigration including multinational corporations, technologycompanies, academic and research institutions, and entertainers and artists. Ms. Spector hasparticular expertise in advising employers on the immigration implications of corporatechanges, including mergers and acquisitions, downsizing, and reductions in work force. She hassuccessfully developed I-9 Compliance Training Programs for HR personnel, and has managed I-9 and H-1B audits for her clients.Prior to establishing the Rudnick Spector Firm, Ms. Spector served for ten years as Of Counselto the predecessor firm of Steel, Rudnick & Ruben. Ms. Spector also served as ImmigrationCounsel to the former Rhône-Poulenc Group based in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, from 1992 to2000. Ms. Spector was based in Paris, France, from 1990 to 1992, where she established animmigration practice and published “The Immigration Chronicle.” From 1987 to 1990, Ms. Spectorheaded the immigration practice at Pavia & Harcourt in New York, New York. She served as anAssociate at Patterson, Belknap Webb & Tyler, also in New York City, from 1982 to 1984.Education:New York University School of Law, 1982, J.D.Brown University, 1979, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa © 2011 Jill K. Soubel