Visa for a Mixed Martial Arts Coach

I am starting a mixed martial arts school in San Diego and would like to bring a several instructors here to teach. I have an individual from Brazil and another from Thailand. They’ve both won several tournaments in BJJ and Mui Thai and have coached fighters competing in both PRIDE and UFC. While my school isn’t quite ready to open, I do want to generate some publicity and advertise these two as instructors to build some business so I don’t have an empty building when we open. How can we bring these two to the US and how long will it take to get them here?

The first thought for these types of coaches would probably be a P3 visa since both martial arts are culturally unique to their respective countries. However USCIS, for reasons unknown, rarely approve P3 visas for marital arts instructors. The California Service Center recently denied a P3 visa for a Taekwondo instructor for a Korean national and even conceded that the sport was the national sport of Korea. Therefore, a decision must be made between a P1 visa and an O1 visa. In a previous Q&A, we discussed O1 v. P1 and concluded that the general rule is that O1 visas are for individuals and P1 visas are for groups. However, in this case, the P1 visa is more appropriate for each simply because USCIS has a history of approving P1 visas for martial arts coaches.

We can get the P1 petitions approved by USCIS in 15 days or less and schedule both of them for visa interviews shortly thereafter. They’ll be ready to enter as soon as you need them.

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 7:52 pm by Immigration Lawyer Peter Messersmith · Permalink
In: O-1 Visa, P-1 Visa, P-3 Visa · Tagged with: , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Written by Muhammad Faizan
    on February 12, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Dear Sir
    I m Faizan from Pakistan…i m black belt in Taekwondo Martial Arts…i want to improve my Taekwondo Fight….so i want to Korean Martial visa to improve my game..i m 24 year old

  2. Written by Sesha
    on January 7, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I am black belt holder from Japan Shotokan Karate. I am indian. I wanted to be a Karate instructor for kids.

    If you provide opportunity, I ll prove myself.

  3. Written by saqib
    on November 12, 2015 at 6:52 am

    I am Muhammad Saqib form Pakistan. I am black belt in Bredan fou martial art. This game is new. I want to improve my game in other style like Teakwondo Kung four Mix martial art etc so want Thailand martial art visa to improve my game I am 26 year old

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