Prominent international chess players who hold high country rankings as well as Chess titles conferred by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) may qualify for a U.S. work visa and for a green card.
The work visa for a Chess Player is known as the O-1 visa, which is for workers that possess “extraordinary ability” in their respective fields. Our office represents chess instruction companies around the U.S. who seek to employ prominent international chess players for Chess Instructor positions. The O-1 visa requires that the Chess player demonstrate that they are in the top percentage of chess players in the world. This is shown by country rankings, FIDE titles, ranking within the U.S. Chess Federation and documentation of regional, national and international success in chess competitions.
The Green Card process does not require a U.S. sponsor. The green card is classified in the “extraordinary ability” category and is a “self-sponsored” process. As in the O-1 visa process, the chess player must demonstrate that they are ranked in the “top percentage” of the chess sport. Generally, a chess player should be ranked somewhere in the top 10% of international chess players before embarking on the green card process.
A thorough assessment of the chess player’s entire chess record is essential to determine whether an O-1 work visa or extraordinary ability green card is realistic.
For additional information related to this topic and for advice regarding how to navigate U.S. immigration laws you may contact Kenneth S. Levine or Layli Eskandari Deal of the law firm Levine & Eskandari, LLC – 770-551-2700 or ken@LEimmigration.com or Layli@LEimmigration.com.
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