Minors International Clearance Process
Any player under the age of 18 who is not eligible for the Prior to 12 option will be required to go through the FIFA TMS process in order to obtain their international transfer clearance.
FIFA's Regulations state that international transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18. However, there are three exceptions to the rule:
- The player's parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football.
- The transfer takes place within the territory of the European Union.
- The player lives outside the country, but no further than 50km from a national border. In addition, the club with which the player wishes to be registered in the neighboring association is also within 50km of that border.
U.S. Soccer can use exceptions No. 1 and No. 3, as the second exception deals only with players in Europe. The documentation listed below is required in order to prove a minor player qualifies for this process.
Please note that these are the only exceptions that can be used to process an international transfer for a minor. U.S. Soccer is not permitted to proceed with a clearance request for a player that does not fit one of these two categories. If a minor player does not fit one of these two exceptions, U.S. Soccer can submit an application to the Players' Status Committee of FIFA to have them decide on whether or not a special exemption can be granted. For more information on how to proceed with this application process, please contact Michael Gorman.
To review these applications, FIFA instituted the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS), which is an online method to provide FIFA with documentation to prove that a player fits one of the exceptions above. Documents are uploaded into the system and are reviewed by FIFA, which makes the final determination on whether a First Registration clearance or ITC could be requested for a minor player. However, U.S. Soccer has received a limited exemption from the requirement to use the FIFA TMS. U.S. Soccer is now responsible for the document review and determination on whether any player meets either of the two exceptions above. Although required to uphold the same standards as FIFA, U.S. Soccer can much more quickly review the documents and determine whether a clearance request could be process for a minor player.
In order to get registered under this process, the minor player (and parents) should follow these steps:
- Collect required documentation to prove that the player meets the first of the above-given exceptions:
- Player’s Passport
- Player’s Birth Certificate
- Player’s Parents’ Passports
- Player’s Parents’ Work Visas (if available)
- Player’s Parents’ Proof of Residence (Utility bill, lease agreement, etc.)
- Player’s Parents’ Proof of Employment (Pay Stub, Employment Verification Letter, etc.)
- Completed ITC Request or First Registration form (click here to download)
- If player has been previously registered outside of U.S., use ITC Request Form
- If player has never been registered to any club, use First Registration Form
- Forward documentation to State Association/League and U.S. Soccer Federation.
For more information on what is required in these documents, please refer to the "Protection of Minors -Pertinent Facts Document" provided by FIFA. Click here to download.
U.S. Soccer will review documentation and determine whether any of the above-mentioned exceptions have been met. If so, U.S. Soccer will immediately process the player's international clearance request.
Once a response is received from the foreign association, U.S. Soccer will notify the State Association/League via e-mail that the player is free to be registered. If no response is received (after 30 days for ITC request, 7 days for First Registration), U.S. Soccer will issue a Provisional or temporary clearance, which will allow the player to be registered immediately.