Playing video games is a favorite pastime of individuals who reside throughout the nation, including the Miami area. In some cases, individuals become so good at playing the games that they are able to make a living playing professionally.
Last year we wrote a post about a Canadian video game player who was granted a visa designed to bring internationally known athletes and entertainers into the country. Known as a P-1A visa, it is good for five years. The decision to grant that visa was noteworthy since it was the first time that a professional gamer received this type of visa. Recently, another P-1A visa was granted to another professional video gamer. This individual is from South Korea and plays StarCraft II.
The man’s bid to receive the visa was aided by the maker of StarCraft II, Twitch and Blizzard Entertainment, which wrote letters of recommendation to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In them, the business described the way competitive gaming works and the difficulties professional gamers have experienced in attending live matches. Prior to receiving the P-1A visa, the man had been entering the U.S. to play, via a visa waiver. His attempt to secure a student visa was unsuccessful.
Because of the popularity of the sport and the fact that individuals from around the world are making a living participating in live competitions, it is expected that more of these visas will be issued in the future. To obtain this, or any other visa, most find it beneficial to work with an immigration lawyer. These individuals may be aware of immigration options that the average individual has no way of knowing.
Source: National Public Radio, “U.S. Recognizes A South Korean StarCraft Player As An Athlete,” Alan Yu, Dec. 15, 2013