How to Secure a USA Visa for Fighting in Major Promotions

KO Warrior Promotions stands out as a premier resource for foreign athletes seeking work authorization to compete in boxing and mixed martial arts events in the United States. Major promotions in the country typically mandate foreign fighters to possess P-1, O-1, or EAD work authorization to participate in competitions. Recently, these promotions have leaned towards acquiring P-1 visas for signed fighters who have upcoming fights due to the increasing difficulty and longer processing times associated with P-1 visa approvals.

Here are the procedures and challenges involved in obtaining visas for athletes aiming to compete in the United States:

Visa Acquisition Methods:

  1. Obtaining Visas from Outside the United States:
    • Obtain P-1 or O-1 visa approval from USCIS.
    • Attend a visa interview to get the visa stamped on the passport.
    • Clear United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the airport upon entry.
  2. Changing Status Within the United States:
    • Obtain a visa such as a B-1/B-2 visitor visa or a P-1S support staff visa.
    • Pass through United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival.
    • Change status to P-1 or O-1 visa while remaining in the United States.

Challenges in the Visa Process:

  1. Obtaining Visa Approvals:
    • P-1 or O-1 visa approvals are challenging to secure, although KO Warrior Promotions has a track record of success in this area.
  2. Visa Interview Appointments:
    • Many consulates have limited availability for appointments or only offer distant dates, posing challenges for applicants.
  3. COVID-19 Travel Restrictions:
    • Several countries enforce travel restrictions due to COVID-19, allowing entry only with a national interest waiver.

Solutions to Visa Challenges:

  1. Visa Approval Process:
    • KO Warrior Promotions provides thorough assessments to clients completing the intake sheet, assisting them in navigating the process effectively.
  2. Visa Interview Expeditions:
    • Special authorization from the Department of Homeland Security allows organizations like UFC and Top Rank Boxing to expedite interviews for athletes, coaches, and training partners. KO Warrior Promotions has the same privileges and legal remedies as the top tier promotion companies in the boxing/MMA industry.
  3. National Interest Waivers for COVID-19 Travel Restrictions:
    • Options include pursuing a national interest waiver as a business traveler or obtaining a 212(f) waiver through approved organizations like the UFC or Top Rank Inc. KO Warrior Promotions also has the same granting approval power.

Effective Visa Acquisition Options:

  1. Regular Processing Application:
    • Applicants can file for regular processing and await appointment availability, with the option to add premium processing later for expediting.
  2. Changing Status Within the United States:
    • Athletes can enter the United States under one visa category and subsequently change status to P-1 or O-1, either through premium processing or by submitting an application while abroad.
  3. Applying with Premium Processing:
    • Applicants can apply for P-1 or O-1 visas with premium processing while outside the United States, with KO Warrior Promotions aiding in expediting appointment requests.

While the timing and effectiveness of these methods vary, KO Warrior Promotions remains committed to assisting athletes in securing visas efficiently for their participation in major promotions.