Canadian Tennis Visa Case - Silver Immigration

Canadian Tennis Star Making History

Saturday at 4:00pm ET Canadian superstar Bianca Andreescu will try to make history at the US Open.

Andreescu has already done what none of her Canadian predecessors have been able to – make it to the finals of the US Open. Andreescu, born in Mississauga, Ontario, is a bright spot in Canadian sports and has the entire country supporting her.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted to the tennis star about her upcoming match, “You’ll have a whole country with you tomorrow.”

The upcoming match comes after a huge tournament win by Andreescu at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Now her sights are set on a US Open title.

Foreign athletes entering the US to showcase their athletic skills and compete at the highest levels need proper documentation from the US government to do so. We have recently seen what can happen when these matters are not properly addressed before competition.

Two months ago, Svetlana Kuznetsova was forced to pull out of the Citi Open because of visa issues. Kuznetsova won the Citi Open in 2018 and was eager to defend her title.

She announced the news on Twitter:

Unfortunately I had to pull out of Washington due to my problems with US visa(. Wanted to apologize to all my fans who were waiting for me there .. Never had issues like this in my life , hopefully one day I can finally get a visa and play at list some events of the US swing!

So, what do Canadian athletes need to do to be compliant with US immigration?

Canadians like Andreescu will likely get an O-1 visa to compete in the US. The O classification was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 to provide specifically for the admission of persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics, or extraordinary achievement in motion picture and television production.

Extraordinary ability refers to a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentages who has arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor. For athletes like Andreescu, winning the Rogers Cup would likely qualify her for the O-1 visa. Other less accomplished athletes would have to provide further documentation to demonstrate their qualifications and eligibility.

If the O-1 is not the right fit, athletes should then consider the P-1 visa. The P-1 visa is for those entering the US to perform at specific athletic competitions as an athlete at an internationally recognized level or performance. You can read more about the O-1 visa here and the P-1 visa here.

If you are an athlete looking to compete with international talent and don’t want visa issues holding you back, call Silver Immigration today and we will let you know which, if any, visa you need!