Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Linda Lee
Los Angeles O/B Visa Lawyer
O/B Visas for Gamers
Video game competitions are more popular and professionally recognized than ever. Today, competitions fill up entire arenas in the same ways a basketball game would. With cash and stardom on the line, more people than ever are becoming professional gamers.
Part of the nature of videogame competitions and leagues is going to foreign countries to compete with top-ranked opponents, which is happening more than ever in the U.S. However, those coming to the United States will need a visa in order to compete.
As such, we recommend professionals acquire an O-1 visa, while amateurs seek a B-1 visa. In either case, you will need legal aid to find success in your application.
The visa application process can be difficult for anyone and finding success is consistently a challenge. But with the help of a Los Angeles O/B visa attorney at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., you can have the legal aid that will bring success in your application. To learn more via consultation, call us at (213) 375-4084.
Do You Qualify for an O or B Visa?
As a videogame competition or league participant, you may be competing as either a professional or an amateur. In either case, you will be required to have an appropriate visa in order to compete in the United States. However, these have two separate guidelines for qualifying.
If you consider yourself to be a professional gamer and are entering the U.S. for continued work in videogame competitions and leagues, you must pursue an O-1 visa. Through evidence and testimony, you will need to prove that you meet at least three of the following six criteria.
- National or international recognition for gaming
- Prizes or awards for gaming that are recognized nationally or internationally
- Success that is critically or commercially acclaimed
- Membership in a distinguished organization
- Being paid a continually high salary
- Recognition from experts, organizations, and/or critics
If you are an amateur gamer who has come to the United States for a videogame competition or league, you are considered to be a temporary business visitor. As such, you must successfully apply for a B-1 visa. To qualify there are six criteria you must meet, although they are less strict than the O-1 guidelines.
- A legitimate reason for conducting business in the U.S.
- You will be in the United States for a limited amount of time
- Ability to pay for your trip expenses
- Ties to your home country and a plan to return after the trip
- Being otherwise admissible to the U.S.
In either of these cases, you will need to create a thorough application backed by in-depth evidence.
What are the Benefits of an O/B Visa?
By having an O or B visa in the United States, you are given permission to pursue gaming competitions and other activities that are part of a competition or series of competitions. Whether you are professional or amateur, these visas are absolutely necessary, or else you will not be able to move further with your career in the U.S.
O-1 visas will allow a person to stay in the United States for one, two, or three years, depending on how long it will take to complete the work that is the reason for coming to the country. This amount of time can be extended through a Form I-129 petition in order to complete an activity that ends up taking longer than expected. Additionally, those working with you can receive an O-2 visa and family members can gain an O-3 visa so that they can come into the country with you. Having an O-1 visa will allow you to compete for prizes, money, and more.
B-1 visas will give you the ability to negotiate contractual agreements, purchase supplies, hold meetings, attend conventions, settle estates, and perform other types of professional services. All of these can be tied to the business needs associated with gaming tournaments and other competitions as an amateur. While they do not give as many work possibilities as an O-1 visa, these will provide amateur gaming competitors the opportunity to progress in their field.
Whether you are a professional or amateur, it is vital that you protect your rights and ensure that you have all the capabilities necessary to find success unhindered by legal constraints.
Finding Success in Your Visa Search
At the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., our Los Angeles O/B visa attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping people find the success they have come to Southern California to find. With a call to (213) 375-4084, you can receive a consultation on your case that gives you insight into your case that comes from years of legal success. No matter how many obstacles may be in your way, we can help you protect your rights and the wellbeing of your loved ones.
For more information on visas for gamers, visit our blog post Obtaining Visas for Video Game Professionals.