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Do Athletes qualify for the TN (TN-1) NAFTA Visa?


No, athletes cannot get a TN (TN-1) NAFTA Visa. They must instead apply for an O or P visa, specifically designed for them.

Here’s why:

The TN Visa is a special visa allowing Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the United States under NAFTA. However, it doesn’t cover athletes.

Athletes need to opt for either an O or P visa. The O visa is for people with exceptional skills in areas like sports. The P visa is for athletes and entertainers coming to the U.S. for specific events or competitions.

To get an O-1 visa, athletes must prove that they:

  1. Are among the very best in their field.
  2. Have significant recognition nationally or internationally.
  3. Have a contract or schedule for events in the U.S.

For a P-1 visa, athletes should:

  1. Belong to a team with a strong global reputation.
  2. Be coming to the U.S. for a specific event.
  3. Have a job offer from an event organizer in the U.S.

If athletes are uncertain about which visa they qualify for, they should seek guidance from an immigration lawyer.

Examples of athletes who could get an O-1 visa include:

  • Professional golfers, tennis players, and auto racers.
  • Olympic medalists.
  • World champions.
  • Members of national teams.

Examples of athletes who could obtain a P-1 visa include:

  • Members of touring pro sports teams like MLB, NBA, and NHL.
  • Professional wrestlers.
  • Mixed martial arts fighters.
  • Participants in international events like the World Cup and Olympics.

It’s vital to note that the O and P visa application procedures can be intricate and time-consuming. Athletes should start preparing their visa applications well ahead of their travel plans to the United States. Consulting with an immigration attorney is highly recommended or contact for further assistance.

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