International Athletes Should Beware of Visa Delays, Denials on the Rise, Advises Navarro Immigration Law

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Navarro Immigration Law Firm discusses why international athletes, to avoid disruptions to their training and competition schedules, should plan to apply for their visas well in advance of their travel date.

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Securing a visa is typically not a big worry at the top of a professional athlete’s to-do list because they are laser focused on their athletic career. As a result of their wildly successful careers, extraordinary international athletes inherently merit work visas.

As an immigration attorney -- and immigrant to the United States herself -- Nadine Navarro of the Navarro Immigration Law Firm, LLC is well versed in the process of securing a visa. But new changes to U.S. immigration regulations have bogged down this process for her clients, including international athletes who regularly travel to the United States to train and compete.

“Securing a visa is typically not a big worry at the top of a professional athlete’s to-do list because they are laser focused on their athletic career. As a result of their wildly successful careers, extraordinary international athletes inherently merit work visas,” said Navarro, who founded Navarro Immigration Law in 2017. “But current delays in processing sports visas are keeping these foreign athletes out of major international events. This is a serious problem that is affecting their careers.”

Navarro works with international athletes who have a full-time training and competition schedule in the United States and are in the country under temporary visas. As of the past year, many of her athletes have faced disruptions in their competition schedules due to delays in processing their non-immigrant status extensions.

“I have athletes who are here under non-immigrant visas pending permanent residency approval who have been unable to travel abroad for major international events, such as the Panamerican Games, without forfeiting their immigration application,” Navarro stated. “This is the result of extensive processing delays that have arisen in the past couple of years.”

New immigration policies have caused processing delays in the time it takes for an extraordinary foreign athletes to secure permanent residency in the United States, according to Navarro. Because of this, there is a new need for additional non-immigrant status and visa extensions, which carry added financial and time expenses for extraordinary international athletes who already have their plates full with training and competing.

“I work with athletes who have been pre-qualified for permanent residence via an immigrant work petition, but they are having to wait more than a year to actually apply and be granted permanent residency,” noted Navarro. “In the meantime, they must continue to apply for temporary work visas. These athletes are in legal limbo. It can be a nightmare.”
To avoid missing important international events, Navarro suggests that foreign athletes take the time to research their options and apply for visas well in advance. She recommends both O and P visas -- which are temporary, non-immigrant visas -- to bridge the gap while waiting to apply for permanent residency. P visas for athletes can be issued for up to 5 years and O visas for up to three.

As a virtual law firm, Navarro Immigration Law is able to work with clients from around the globe assisting them with all kinds of visa applications, including sports visas and permanent residency. Nadine Navarro recently received the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, awarded only to a small percentage of lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability. The firm also celebrated its two-year anniversary earlier this year.

About Nadine Navarro, Navarro Immigration Law Firm, LLC
Navarro Immigration Law Firm, LLC offers its clients personalized and comprehensive assistance to guide them through the process of achieving their American dream. As a boutique law practice, the firm is focused on building long-lasting relationships with clients. Their mission is to serve as a trusted adviser during the turbulent time of moving to a new country. Whether establishing a new home or business in the United States, Navarro Immigration Law Firm will lead you through the process with experience, patience and ease. For more information, visit http://www.navarroimmigration.com or call 786-734-1671.

For media inquiries, please call the NALA at 805.650.6121, ext. 361.

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