When does immigration step in, regarding short term stays i.e. an E Sports team comes to town.

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I was watching a Cr1tikal video regarding his E-Sports team and he was upset about his E sports team being denied entry to the country. Are you still an immigrant if you are staying temporarily? Does that make you an emmigrant? If not, what is an emmigrant?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

It can be kind of funky. But yes, anyone who is from another country is under the authority of immigration officials, even if that person is just a tourist.

A lot of countries on good terms with the US have free entry for tourism. So long as people aren’t coming here to do work or stay permanently, all those people have to do is go through customs and describe their intent to be a tourist then go back home without making any money. We’ll come back to why “making money” matters.

Some countries aren’t on such good terms, so those people require more approval. They might have to apply for a visa in advance. A visa is just a document that proves you went through the process of convincing immigration you are here for good reasons and should be allowed in. (It’s possible even people on good terms need one, I’m not super sure.)

Now, if you’re coming here to do work and make money, you ABSOLUTELY need to go through more procedure. The US wants to tax all money earned by people while working in the US. So even if a person is from another country, if they come to the US on business and get paid by a US company that money has to be taxed. This can introduce a ton of complications depending on the countries and companies involved.

It sounds like that’s probably what happened here. The team applied for a visa so they could participate in a tournament, and for whatever reason the immigration officials decided to reject the visas. I tried to look into it and it sounds weird. That’s why this group is suing the US Department of Immigration: they think something unfair happened. Until they win that lawsuit, their visas are denied.

To circle back to your question:

I don’t think most people would call this team “immigrants”. They’re clearly here to perform in an event and not become permanent residents. The dictionary definition of the word involves a person trying to live in the country permanently.

They are also not “emmigrants”, that’s actually the other direction: if a person is an “immigrant” to the US, they are an “emmigrant” to the country they came from.

But basically, the “Department of Immigration” oversees BOTH immigration and tourism/work visas, because it’s easier to keep all of that in one organization than to have two that do the same thing. I don’t think the government even considers them “immigrants”, legally. There’s not enough information in what I saw to see what the government is thinking, and since they’re suing the US over it I think they believe what happened isn’t legal anyway.

They could’ve *tried* to do this without applying in advance, but it wouldn’t end well. At the airport, they’d have to declare why they’re here. If they said, “To participate in an e-sports tournament” that would likely sound like “work” and get them flagged to go through a work visa application process. This might’ve even happened at the airport in their own country, because they might not have been able to board their plane without visas. If they *lied* and said “tourism”, then they’re putting the tournament organizers at risk because that would technically be tax fraud. They’d definitely end up disqualified over that, because the organizers would have to legally prove they took no part in it and didn’t encourage it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Emigrant is someone who moves out of a country. 

And no they aren’t immigrants, but they are still foreigners coming into the USA for work. And if they do not have their work visas in order, then it would be illegal for them to be working in the USA.

They could come as tourists, but not for work.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Countries generally require everybody entering the country to get a visa. Most countries have many classes of visa, ranging from tourist to skilled worker to entertainer. Each visa class has its own requirements and restrictions.

In many cases, non-working tourist visas (US B-2 visa) are granted automatically at port of entry. For the US, these are granted to anybody traveling from Europe among a few other countries.

One of the more common US visas you will hear about is the H-1B, which is used for skilled labor and requires a US company to sponsor.

For E-Sports, if they wanted to compete, likely need a P-1A or P-1B. These are for athletes (P-1A), or entertainers (P-1B). Both of these would grant them the ability to complete in the US. The requirements for these P-1 visas is that the person or team be “internationally recognized”, which may be a challenge for a lot of e-sport competitors still.

Most types of non-resident visas can be upgraded, either allowing the person to stay longer or take other actions that their original visa disallowed. For example, you could enter the country on a B-2 tourist visa and, during your stay, apply for permanent resident status. Whether that would be approved before your (maximum of) 6 months is up for the stay is unlikely.

Immigration officials also have a *lot* of leeway on visa approvals.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Athletes come into countries for events all the time

An Emigrant is someone *leaving* a country permanently, an Immigrant is someone *entering* a country permanently. You aren’t considered an immigrant if you are coming in to play a sport, you are coming in to work temporarily.

Visa requirements for athletes vary, but a lot of countries give exemptions for certain types of athletes. If your an Olympian for example coming into Canada you don’t need a work permit, you’re considered a guest. But if you’re a hockey player in the NHL you need a work visa.

The event or sporting body will work with the hosting country and provide lists of who’s coming and from where to ensure to that they have all the correct visas etc ahead of time.

The NHL for example has a great working relationship with Canada and US immigration because teams travel across the border all the time.

Depending on the country there will be different visa requirements and some countries citizens have an easier time getting in. Countries like Israel for example have a difficult time going to a lot of places particularly in the Middle East, so if they were to travel to an Olympics or the recent World Cup in Qatar these things need to be cleared well in advance.

The last thing they want is a competitor getting denied entry at the last minute due to a technicality or some other issue. If they aren’t allowed in the country it should be known well ahead of time so they can fix the issue.

Even then celebrity sports stars can cause problems. Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1) famously almost got arrested arriving in Australia on a private plane because he brought his dog Rocko without clearance and that’s strictly forbidden. Bringing a pet into Australia is very difficult.

In this case the organizers probably just screwed up or did a bad job getting clearance for the players. There was probably something wrong with their paperwork.