Immigration Law: the International Equine Professional

Many disciplines and aspects of the equine world have need for foreign riders and equine participants.
This may include foreign trainers, riders, competitors, jockeys, grooms, and handlers.
Because immigration law can be complex, the next few blog posts will break down the main categories of equine immigration to the U.S.

Argentine Adolfo Cambiaso, with a handicap of 10 goals, considered by most as the best polo player in the world.

First: the International Equine Professional

My family often plays polo with Argentine polo players; Argentina is known throughout the world as producing some of the top polo players (such as Cambiaso, Figueras, etc.).   Argentine polo professionals often travel to the U.S. for the polo season or for competitions.

Notable professional equine athletes include Olympic riders, Pan American Game team members, and World Equestrian Game participants.  For such riders, the P-1A Visa  is likely the most appropriate and is for riders who intend a temporary stay in the U.S.
The P-1 Visa is reserved for riders who are exceptional in their field, a standard measured by whether the athletic achievement is recognized or renown in more than one country.

A U.S. sponsor, company, or employer must file a petition for the particular equine rider with the Citizenship and Immigration Services department.  The petition must contain details of the rider's international recognition, which might include: the rider's international ranking, a written statement from sports media or a recognized expert in the sport, or proof of significant participation on a U.S. or International team.

The P-1 Visa would permit the equine athlete to enter the U.S. for a specific competition, event, or performance, and might extend to an entire season of the horse sport (such as the summer polo season).  The equine athlete could also enter the U.S. for "promotional appearances."

Possibly a "promotional appearance," Argentine Nacho Figueras, handicap of 6 Goals

Family members (dependents) of the accomplished equine athlete would apply for a P-4 Visa in order to accompany the athlete, and there are other P Visa classifications for the equine athlete's support team, such as a coach or trainer.

-I know this post was "polo" heavy, but don't worry, I'll move to other disciplines in further immigration posts!-