Helping the World's Best Coaches and Trainers bring a wealth of knowledge into the United States 

P-1/P-1S: Support Personnel

Professional coaches and trainers seeking to teach or perform a seminar in the U.S. may be eligible to obtain a P-1 visa or a P-1s visa through supporting a P-1 approved athlete.  P-1s visas receive a validity date for one year at a time and can be renewed for up to ten years.  The P-1s visa can take a few months for processing unless separate expediting fees are applied.  

EB-1, EB-2, EB-3: Employment Based Visas for Coaches

EB Visas are appropriate for coaches and trainers 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 a visa to become available. 

  1. EB-1: Visas for coaches and trainers 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 coaches 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 athlete or coach

H-1B: Foreign National in a Specialty Position

This non-immigrant classification applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation.

A specialty occupation is one that normally requires a bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is as the minimum entry requirement for the position, the degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree, the employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position, or the nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

This visa requires a labor certification from the Department of Labor and is subject to a cap number of visas available per year. 

P-3: Cultural Training for Coaches and Trainers

The P-3 Visa is appropriate for a coach that teaches a culturally unique skill, art, or sport. For example, if there is a specific form of combat sport such as Sambo and the coach is one of the premier teachers of the art-form in Russia. The initial duration of stay is the time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year. The beneficiary can apply for an extension of stay in increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, activity or performance.

O-1: Achievement Bases Non-Immigrant Visas

Coaches and trainers may be eligible for the O visas if they have extraordinary ability and achievement in their respective sport. For coaches and trainers, the O-1 visa must be based on their achievements and awards as a coach and not an athlete. Thus an athlete that transfers to being a coach cannot use the accomplishments of being an athlete to petition for an O-1 visa as a coach. The O-1 visa validity date can be for up to five years at a time and can be extended. O-2 visas are available for an O-1 visa holder’s spouse and children under 21 years old.  

Q-1: Exchange Program for Artists and Entertainers

Permits a coach to come to the U.S. to take part in an established international cultural exchange program that provides practical training, employment, and sharing of the participants' native culture, history, and traditions with the people of the United States.