Feb 6

3 Common Visa Questions from Foreign Athletes Seeking to Enter the US

Answers to Common Questions from Foreign Athletes Seeking a Visa

Foreign athletes in the US

Foreign athletes need a visa to come to the US. Contact us for help.

In order for foreign athletes to enter the United States, they need to obtain a P-1 or O-1 visa. In our experience, when athletes are seeking assistance, they have three, basic questions:

  • How long will it take to get my P-1 or O-1 visa
  • How much does it cost
  • What are my chances

How Long Does it Take a Foreign Athlete to Get a Visa?

Petitions for O-1 or P-1 classification must be sent to USCIS before an appointment can be made with the consulate. This is different than a B-1 visa, which is not a petition-based classification.

  1. Normal processing is usually 3-5 months
  2. Premium processing/15 days if the Applicant pays an additional $1,225.00 (15 days excludes time for any request for evidence)

Total time to prepare all documents including forms and supporting letters and evidence is approximately 5-8 days for a P-1 and 20-25 days for an O-1.

We then schedule a consular appointment. The time to get a visa appointment depends on the  Embassy but it is usually within 10 days.  The total visa turnaround is 5 days unless the visa requires additional investigation such as criminal or security issues.

The minimum total time which includes USCIS processing and the Embassy interview is 30-45 days. We have been able to secure visas in less time when there is an expedite request due to unforeseen circumstance.

How Much Does a Foreign Athlete’s Visa Cost?


  • $460.00 -I-129 petition based (required)
  • $1225.00-Premium processing (optional)
  • $190.00-Nonimmigrant Visa Application (required)
  • Postage, copy, courier, etc. (variable)

Legal Fees

Attorney fees vary depending on the complexity of the petition.  O-1 usually petitions involve much more time to prepare than a P-1 petition.  Also, criminal issues, previous visa overstays or denials, issues having to do with National security or expedite request, etc. must first be evaluated.

Usually, the foreign athlete’s contract for services far exceeds attorney’s fees and costs and it is worthwhile because foreign athletes can’t afford a visa denial, which could hold up a competition and substantial earnings.

What Are a Foreign Athletes Chances of Obtaining a Visa?

Depends on many factors:

  • The athlete’s current ranking among peers, history and P-1 sponsor
  • Attorney’s assessment of qualification is essential for determining whether a B-1, P-1 or O-1 is the best choice
  • Previous history/ denials / visa overstays
  • Preparation for the interview

We are Experts on Foreign Athlete Visas

We at Keamy Tavares & Associates are experts in preparing visa documents on behalf of foreign athletes.  We win because we work hard to never lose.