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Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Old Mar 10th 2013, 5:54 pm
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Default Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Hi Guys,

After nearly bang on two years, I'm back!

I made this thread which is now closed (http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=709520) in March 2011 regarding getting a visa mainly to play in the United Soccer League Premier Development League (highest amateur level/put yourself in shop window for pro clubs to see you) between April-July. The duration of time I needed to be there was four months hence the need for a visa or some way around the three month visa waiver program.

I was originally denied a B2 visa in London by a moody official on the grounds of insufficient evidence/ties to home country. I booked another interview two days later and was granted the visa after the official actually spent time asking me relevant questions and seeing my evidence properly. At the time I was also interested in studying in the US but that didn't work out for a few reasons. I had a great time in the US and of course left without any issues.

Now, I'm very serious about going back in April to play in the same league. Again, I need to be there from at least mid April until the end of July, so it looks like a visa is the only way to do that. I'm looking into some of the UK "soccer" coaching companies that send British coaches to the US for the spring/summer to coach and earn some money. There are a few issues regarding insurance/scheduling and combining playing/coaching which means I may not be able to go over with one of these companies and combine playing and coaching/working. If I did, the visa issue wouldn't be a problem as I would be going over to coach for the majority of time whilst playing and training part-time.

It is unlikely I will be able to combine the two due to the coaching companies reluctance to facilitate playing and coaching, which means I will definitely need to apply for the B2 Visa again or something which will allow me a Mid April-End of July stay. Will it be clear cut this time i.e he came before in 2011 on the B2, left before expiry, no problems etc or will it be a case of 50/50 depending on what agent I get like last time?

I'm only 22 so it's always hard to show my ties to the UK. I've recently bought a £5000 car, have savings etc, all family here, but there's not much else. I will have to give up my reasonably paid coaching role here, but like always there will be a role for me once I return. I do eventually have plans to live in the US so overstaying wouldn't be wise, not sure if I should ever say something like that, but obviously there are no reasons for me to be considered a risk. The reason for going is to develop as a player (and person), and to try and rise my stock if you like in the US which could lead to future options with a pro team in the US.

Thoughts?
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Old Mar 10th 2013, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

How long was your B2 visa valid for? I thought this was not a "one-trip" visa but one that you could use for several different trips?
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Old Mar 10th 2013, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Thanks for the reply.

That's the thing that people here said a few years ago. It was definitely a B2 visa for the purpose "To play in the Premier Development League", however it was one entry and up until September 2011, so from March 2011 until September 2011. I actually had to return to the UK at a time that I would have still still been eligible under the VWP however I wasn't to know that.
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Old Mar 10th 2013, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Apart from Bend it like Beckham the English players I see have had a career of some sorts in the UK, after all if you can not hack it in your own country then you are unlikely to be good enough to interest a US Team bringing you in.

Or vice versa for that matter.
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Old Mar 10th 2013, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Apart from Bend it like Beckham the English players I see have had a career of some sorts in the UK, after all if you can not hack it in your own country then you are unlikely to be good enough to interest a US Team bringing you in.

Or vice versa for that matter.
I'm just here asking for advice on the visa. You don't know me, you don't my circumstances, you don't know my career or my reasoning for doing what I do. You definitely won't know that I've played professionally in the UK, MLS teams are aware of me and I'm working extraordinarily hard to resurrect a promising career that was nearly ended prematurely by a serious injury at a young age.

I'm open to privately discussing my goals and career if you really are interested however your patronising judgement's really aren't welcome if that's what the above comment was meant to come across like.
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Old Mar 10th 2013, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Realistic.

Put it another way, how many USC's without a International, never mind Club background play in the UK professional leagues?
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Old Mar 10th 2013, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Originally Posted by MikeCole View Post
I actually had to return to the UK at a time that I would have still still been eligible under the VWP however I wasn't to know that.
For future reference, the visa is valid until the expiry date on the visa... meaning that you can enter the US at any time until the visa's expiry date. When you enter, you will get an I-94 that is valid until some specific date in the future. You may remain in the US, in status, until the date on the I-94... whether or not visa is expired.

That said, you have abided by the previous visa terms, so that will be a plus... but, ultimately, it'll be up to the interviewing officer.

Ian
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Old Mar 10th 2013, 8:46 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Apart from Bend it like Beckham the English players I see have had a career of some sorts in the UK, after all if you can not hack it in your own country then you are unlikely to be good enough to interest a US Team bringing you in.

Or vice versa for that matter.
New York Red Bulls have someone whose claim to fame is he played for Kidderminster Harriers. He is a young guy so hardly a career in the UK.
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Old Mar 11th 2013, 4:04 am
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

My kids have participated in a number of the Redbulls summer camps and all but one of the coaches was a Brit, all early 20's from various parts of the UK but lots of scousers. My kids seemed to get special treatment as they turned up on the first day in their England shirts
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Old Mar 11th 2013, 4:21 am
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Apart from Bend it like Beckham the English players I see have had a career of some sorts in the UK, after all if you can not hack it in your own country then you are unlikely to be good enough to interest a US Team bringing you in.

Or vice versa for that matter.
My local MLS team has two first team players raised in Blighty, neither had pro experience in England. I think several of the other teams have similar too. (Though I think both played college soccer, at least one, and I suspect both, on soccer scholarships)

Many of the players at MLS level, can only just be considered professional, the level of pay is very low for a lot of the squad.

Just checkd the salaries...$33,000 is about the lowest, a lot of players on that, as their "guaranteed compensation" It was back in 2009 when a number of the squads were only getting $20,000

Last edited by kimilseung; Mar 11th 2013 at 4:30 am.
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Old Mar 11th 2013, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

I do some coaching here in Fla ,also know a guy who was a lower level (very) semi pro who is now doing ok coaching here full time. you can exist ,but not make a fortune.

as for try outs, its definitely worth a go .I dont think Boiler has assessed it right, there are a good few South American youngsters doing a similar thing. IIRC the Ft Lauderdale strikers are holding 'open camps' soon.

good luck
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Old Mar 11th 2013, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Thanks for the advice. I was invited to the MLS combine/draft a few months ago but couldn't attend due to injury. I'm a few steps ahead of the open try-outs participants, but sometimes it's good to take a step back to try and make the higher step. I've got nothing to lose and I've got a planned career in the sport anyway if it doesn't work out. I'd rather be forty and know I gave my everything rather than be left wondering.

Now onto this visa.....
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Old Apr 4th 2013, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

So I am intending to go the US for the same reasons in 2011. Officially as an amateur athlete playing in the USL Premier Development League. To clarify, in 2011 I was rejected for a B2 however I made another appointment for a few days later and was approved. I have a good immigration history i.e entering and leaving on time on the VWP and B2 Visa. My B2 was only one entry and for six months.

The ideal time for me to go to the US in around April 20th. The regular season finishes around July 20th. Give or take a few days, that's virtually 90 days.

Now, the problem I face is that is the regular season, if the team I am playing for makes the national tournament or play-offs which is likely, I need an extra week or so.

I have applied for the ESTA and after having my application pending obviously to the initial rejected visa, they have just approved it. Do I go on the VWP with no risks and see what happens but obviously not overstay? Or do I apply for the B2 knowing that whilst I got it two years ago and have even stronger ties to the UK now, that I may be rejected and then have my ESTA rejected which means I won't be able to go full stop?

I'm leaning towards the VWP but it makes me demotivated to know that I can play a whole season and possibly miss the most important part at the end unless I leave just before 90 days, take a week in the UK and then try my luck and go back for one week possibly on the basis of a holiday i.e I was here for 90 days as an amateur athlete (which is allowed on the VWP) and found a good deal for a weeks vacation?

Only other option is going slightly later around April 28th? Probably a better idea?
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Old Apr 4th 2013, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

not sure if its been mentioned before but (I believe) you need to be careful with the amateur/VW thing. IF you receive any compensation for playing - free food/(sports???) drinks/ accomodation/ hey maybe even kit OR if any of your team mates get paid ,even if you dont , it might be deemed 'work'. also if you do any coaching again in return for anything it could be work

you might want to check instead of just turning up with swimming trunks and boots !!
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Old Apr 4th 2013, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: Football / B2 Visa - Back again after two years!

Originally Posted by Flabound oneday View Post
not sure if its been mentioned before but (I believe) you need to be careful with the amateur/VW thing. IF you receive any compensation for playing - free food/(sports???) drinks/ accomodation/ hey maybe even kit OR if any of your team mates get paid ,even if you dont , it might be deemed 'work'. also if you do any coaching again in return for anything it could be work

you might want to check instead of just turning up with swimming trunks and boots !!
Checked the expenses thing in the past. Things like training kit which is returned, drinks during training etc, transport to games aren't considered work or being compensated for work.
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