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Visas for Esports Athletes

These visas are appropriate for esports athletes for a specific purpose, looking to work for US employer, or utilizing an United States based agent to receive work authorization in the United States to compete in esports opportunities.

P-1: Permits the esports athlete to live and work in the U.S. for up to five years in order to compete in the sport and be paid for training. Petitions can be sourced through an US Representative Agent if there the athlete does not have a US based sponsor

P-1S: Permits the essential support and training staff of P-1 esports athletes to live and work in the U.S. while accompanying an esports athlete P-1 Visa holder

P-4: Permits the spouse and dependents children of esports athletes to live and work in the U.S. while accompanying a P-1 Visa holder. The visa is issued for the same length as the P-1 Visa

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P & O Visas for Esports Athletes from Around the World

SD Sports Group is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based sports agency that focuses on the strategic needs of esport Athletes, Teams, and Associated staff from all over the world to come to the United States. Our agency specializes in purposeful, intelligent and thorough partnerships with foreign based esports organizations to obtain P-1 visas, P-1S visas, and O visa categories for esports athletes and related industry professionals.

Non-Immigration Visa Options

  1. P-1A classification for professional Athletes who are internationally known or recognized.

  2. P-1S Classification for essential support personnel, business and training staff, of P-1 international recognized Athletes with valid status.

  3. O-1 classification for aliens of extraordinary ability in Professional Sports

  4. O-1S - Classification for essential support personnel, business and training staff, of O-1 extraordinary ability Athletes with valid status.


1. Visa support for single competitions

2. Visa support for promotional contracts and management agreements

3. Visa support for training facilities in need of coaching or competition talent

4. Immigration Solutions for Sports business professionals 




ESports Athletes seeking to compete and/or train in the US can obtain a visa for up to 5 years and the visa is renewable for another five years.  Members of a team of Esports Athletes can stay in the U.S. for up to a year. The P-1 visa process takes approximately 1 month or more to process but can be expedited for extra fees. There are also visas available for immediate family of the petitioner as well. Please click the link below for complete break down of the process and to submit information for a consultation.


Amateur Esports Athletes that are training and/or competing without receiving a prizefighting purse may quality for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa.  If the Esports Athlete is from a country in the visa waiver program, they might not even need to obtain the visa. The B-1/B-2 visa is very inexpensive and typically takes less than a month to obtain. While Esports Athletes cannot be compensated for competition, the Esports Athlete may receive benefits of free living expenses or reimbursement for living expenses. This visa may be granted for up to 6 months and is appropriate for short term training, summer courses, and unpaid tours.


An O visa is a specialty visa reserved for individuals of extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, arts, or athletics. This visa is issued for a period of up to three years and renewable. For an Esports Athlete, there is a high standard to obtain this visa and requires sustained national or international acclaim such as world championship. These visas require stringent documentation for supporting evidence that includes evidence of achievement in competition, letters of support from industry experts, and support from media articles.

The O Visa is extremely fact specific and a consultation is necessary before pursuing an application. Please begin the process by clicking the link below to submit information for a consultation.


EB Visas are appropriate for Esports Athletes that are looking to make a permanent move to the United States as opposed to stay for a temporary time to train or compete. These visas either usually require a high standard of achievement or for a sponsor to obtain a labor certification. In addition, depending on the category, there can be extended priority dates for visas which means the petitioner could have to wait for visa to become available.

  1. EB-1: Is appropriate for an Esports Athlete with extraordinary ability. The standard for approval is similar to an O-1 but is a self petition visa for which no employer is required.  

  2. EB-2: Is also appropriate for Esports Athletes with exceptional abilities but the standard for approval is lower than the EB-1. The EB-2 requires either an employer sponsor to obtain a labor petition or for the petitioner to obtain a National Interest Waiver.

  3. EB-3: Is appropriate for skilled or professional workers which can characterized a professional Esports Athlete or coach.

A Labor Certification requires employer/sponsor to go through PERM LABOR CERTIFICATION, . In the last three options, the Esports Athlete and employer must complete a process called PERM labor certification, which can take 6 to 9 months.

How to qualify for P visa as an E-Sport athlete

  • Evidence of having legally contracted with a major Esports league, tournament or team

  • A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization

  • Evidence demonstrating that the athlete meets at least two of the following criteria:

    • Significant participation Esports league in prior seasons

    • Participation in international competitions with a national team

    • Written statement from a Esports league or official of the sport’s governing body demonstrating the alien’s or team’s international recognition

    • Written statement from the sports media or a recognized expert

    • International ranking provided by internationally recognized sports’ organizations

    • Significant honors/awards in the sport