Visiting San Diego’s golf tournament

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 11, 2021 16:51

There are many immigration choices available to golfers to compete professionally in any golf tournament in the USA. For example, the foreign collegiate golfer with an F-1 visa approaching graduation and intends to turn pro has many confusing regulations to navigate. These regulations maintain a proper legal status for you and your stay in the U.S and also allows you to earn playing professional golf.

Few courses often host tournament events, and only a few are public. The Torrey Pines South course hosts a couple of events. The San Diego County operates and owns Torrey Pines; therefore, locals play the course for a lower price than out-of-town players who pay a high green fee. The championship course has near-perfect weather annually and is on the Pacific Ocean cliffs making it a good golfer destination.

  • B-1 VISA

Applying for a B-1 visitor visa is one option for professional golfers wanting to travel to the US A visitor must prove where they come from, have a residence abroad, support themselves, return air tickets, and list events they are qualified to participate in. The B-1 visa can last for ten years, depending on where you come from.

Once in the US, the golfer will maintain a B-1 status for the duration needed to complete the event. If a player qualifies for other events, they must ensure that they file for an extension via mail with USCIS to extend the time for more than six months.


Some countries are not needed to get a visa while traveling to the USA, and all they need is to use the Visa Waiver Program. Foreign nationals from these countries should meet specific ESTA requirements, like having a letter from the sponsored event as proof that they qualify to play in professional tournaments with a complete schedule. Golfers who enter the U.S with an ESTA can only stay for 90 days and cannot request extensions.

If you are a player under the ESTA traveling to the USA, ensure you apply for travel clearance. Those using the Visa Waiver Program must apply online by providing their biological data for the ESTA days before their travel and print out the document once approved. ESTA lasts until your passport expires or for two years.

  • P-1 VISA

This visa is available for internationally recognized athletes. Any golfer who competes in the USA professional tour is eligible for this standard so long as there is a proven record of accomplishments. The golfer should provide evidence to participate and evidence of achievements in the sport. The P-1 visa lasts five years and can be extended for five more years.

Due to the pandemic, travelers must provide evidence of negative Covid-19 testing and are allowed to travel so long as they have not been to countries within the travel ban list. You will need to fill a health form before arrival and make sure you have met the ESTA requirements. Therefore, it is essential to plan yourself. Exceptions of the travel ban are if the reasons you provide and proof are reasonable.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 11, 2021 16:51
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