ANNUAL REGISTRATION AND CLEARANCE REQUEST OVERVIEW
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MEMBER ORGANIZATION PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

PLAYER STATUS DEPARTMENT

The U.S. Soccer Player Status Department ensures the processes and requirements involving player eligibility and registration are adhered by all organization members.  U.S. Soccer Bylaws and Policies and the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP) outline the rules and regulations regarding player eligibility - minor, amateur and professional – and the processes to participate in U.S. Soccer affiliated clubs and leagues.

 

The annual registration process and clearance requests outlined on this page apply specifically to players wishing to register for affiliated clubs/leagues solely based in the United States, regardless of player’s nationality. 

 

Players wishing to participate in clubs/leagues outside the United States should contact the local Member Association (MA) / Federation to inquire about the processes and forms required to register and request clearances locally.  The international clearance requirements are the same as these are regulated by the FIFA RSTP. A list of FIFA Member Associations can be found HERE.

 

 

 

ANNUAL PLAYER REGISTRATION

All organization members of U.S. Soccer are required to register players annually as outlined in USSF Bylaw 212, section 1(4) (B).  The initial registration of the player generates a FIFA Player ID. This is the unique number which identifies the player throughout their soccer career – both domestically and internationally - from grassroots to amateur to professional.  

 

DEFINITION | COMPLETE REGISTRATION

The FIFA RSTP defines a player registration record as: the act of making a written/electronic record containing details of a player that include:

  • Start date of the registration
  • Player full name
  • Player Date of birth
  • Player Gender
  • Player Country of birth
  • Registering Club name and FIFA club ID
  • Registering Club Status -  amateur or a professional
  • Type of soccer – eleven-a-side | futsal | beach
 

Complete player registration records provide current and accurate player information which facilitate the processing of clearances and aligns with requirements as outlined in FIFA and U.S. Soccer policies. Failure to annually send complete  registrations can lead to possible fines and/or sanctions from FIFA and U.S. Soccer.

 

 

PLAYER CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS

In accordance with FIFA RSTP, the clearance process is required when a player over the age of 10 is attempting to register with an affiliated club/league in the United States, regardless of that player's soccer ability. It is the responsibility of the registering club to verify a player’s registration history in order to ascertain whether a clearance may be required. A determination is made by the registering club personnel on which type of clearance the player requires based on the below listed criteria:

 

  • INTERNATIONAL CLEARANCE TRANSFER (ITC) - Player (adult or minor) of any nationality who has previously been registered with a club affiliated to one federation and now wishes to be registered with a club affiliated to the United States.
  • FIRST REGISTRATION - Player (adult or minor) who has never previously been registered with a club and is not a national of the country in which they wish to be registered for the first time.

 

FIFA imposed a general ban on the international transfer of minor players (age 10-17). Despite the ban,  FIFA has identified a few exceptions which minors can apply for an International Transfer Certificate or First Registration.  For more information on minor exception applications please refer to the Protection of Minors – Guide to Submitting a Minor Application published by FIFA.

 

 

 

CLEARANCE PROCESS

The steps for a club to request a clearance for a registered player which meets one of the above stated clearance criteria is outlined below:.

 

1.     The registering club must submit the appropriate clearance form along with the required documents to the Player Status Department for review and processing.

a.     Clubs are responsible to ensure the player is cleared and eligible to activate for affiliated competition

b.     A player(s) activation prior to obtaining the clearance will be considered ineligible.

c.      The only permitted participation for a player awaiting clearance are

                              i.     Pre-season scrimmages

                             ii.     Team trainings

                           iii.     Non-affiliated organized soccer matches/leagues.

 

2.     The home association, U.S. Soccer, is responsible for requesting the clearance from the appropriate parties on behalf of the registering club for the requested player.

a.     Player Status reviews the applications and notifies the applicant of application status

                              i.     Application complete and moved to next step OR

                             ii.     Application incomplete/inaccurate and withdrawn from process

b.     The clearance is processed as required by the FIFA RSTP

c.      Applicant is informed of player eligibility upon completion of process

 

Failure to request and obtain a clearance in accordance with the U.S. Soccer and the FIFA Regulations may lead to disciplinary sanctions being issued against U.S. Soccer, the relevant Member Association of U.S. Soccer, Club and/or the player.  Should U.S. Soccer incur sanctions and or fines as a result of a member actions, these will be passed to the member. 

 

 

CLEARANCE PATHWAYS

 

 

GUIDE TO CLEARANCE FORM TYPES

The below chart lists the seven (7) clearance form types and the criteria for each type. The information is outlined to assist the club in selecting the appropriate form based on the players’ circumstance at the time of clearance submission.  It is the responsibility of the club/league to determine which clearance is required for the player.

 

Each form can be downloaded and lists the specific required documents that must be submitted with the completed form to the Player Status Department when requesting a clearance.  Club representatives are required to complete the Club information section of the form.

 

 

 

 

MINOR CLEARANCE FORMS | PLAYER AGED 10 to 17

FORM

APPLICATION CRITERIA

P10 Registration

International clearances and first registrations for any player nine (9) years of age and younger at the time of registration regardless of citizenship

 

First Registration

U.S. Citizen

· U.S. citizens born outside the United States

· Have never been registered at any level to play soccer with an affiliated* club/league in any other country.

(*Meaning | affiliated to the foreign Federation as members are affiliated to USSF)

 

Awaiting U.S. Citizenship

· Does not currently hold physical proof of U.S. citizenship and is in the process of obtaining citizenship

· Have never been registered at any level to play soccer with an affiliated* club/league in any other country.

(*Meaning | affiliated to the foreign Federation as members are affiliated to USSF)

 

FIFA MINOR EXCEPTIONS

FORM

APPLICATION CRITERIA

Club Statement Template

· Club statement required for all below exception clearance types

Parent/Guardian Statement Template

· Parent Statement ONLY required with Parent Move Exception

5 Year Exception

Exception: Art. 19 pars 3 and 4 of the RSTP

· Player is registering for the first time

· And has lived continuously for the last five years in the country of intended registration prior to this request

 

50 km Exception

Exception: Art. 19 par. 2 c) of the RSTP

· Both the player’s residence and the new club are within 50 km of their common border and the distance between the two is no greater than 100 km

 

Parents Move Exception

Exception: Art. 19 par. 2 a) of the RSTP

· The player’s parents have moved to the country where the player wants to register for reasons not linked to football

· Includes United States citizens returning to the U.S. after studying abroad and/or playing abroad with an affiliated* club/league at any level.

(*Meaning | affiliated to the foreign Federation as members are affiliated to USSF)

 

Exchange Student Exception

Exception: Art. 19 par. 2 e) of the RSTP

· The player is moving temporarily without their parent(s) for academic reasons in order to undertake an exchange program

· Duration of the player’s registration will not exceed one year

· Registering U.S. club is purely amateur and hasno pro affiliation

 

Humanitarian Exception

Accompanied

Exception: Art. 19 par. 2 a) of the RSTP

· The player is moving due to humanitarian reasons with their parent(s) and could not be expected to return to their country of origin

 

Unaccompanied

Exception: Art. 19 par. 2 d) of the RSTP

· The player is moving due to humanitarian reasons without their parent(s) and could not be expected to return to their country of origin

 

 

 

 

ADULT CLEARANCE FORMS – PLAYER AGED 18 and older

FORM

APPLICANT REQUIREMENT

First Registration 18+

· Player is aged 18 or older

· Not born in the United States

· Never registered with an affiliated* club/league at any level outside the United States

(*Meaning | affiliated to the foreign Federation as members are affiliated to USSF)

 

International Transfer Certificate (ITC)

· Player is aged 18 or older

· Regardless of citizenship

· Previously registered and participated with an affiliated* club/league at any level outside the United States

· And player is requesting to register with an affiliated* club based in the U.S.

(*Meaning | affiliated to the foreign Federation as members are affiliated to USSF)

 

 

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

To ensure the timely processing of all clearance applications the following instructions must be adhered to:

 

  • Submit completed forms and all required document(s) in ONE (1) email to – psd@ussoccer.org
  • Each document added separately to the ONE email and no larger than 5MB or less.
  • All submitted documents must be in PDF format
  • Copy the required personnel, i.e. state registrar, league.
  • Subject line must indicate - Clearance type being requested /Player Name/Club Name
  • Information submitted is required to be accurate and complete
  • Partially completed forms and/or applications missing documents will not be processed.
  • Applications must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to official start of club/league play
  • Submitting at least 30 days prior to the start of official club/league play does not guarantee the player will be eligible as process times vary based on clearance type requesting and information submitted. 
  • Electronic signature on the clearance forms is acceptable.

 

All clearance requests submitted will be acknowledged by the Player Status department with an automatic email response. The Player Status department will contact applicants to provide updates on applications when available and/or required.

 

Due to the high volume of applications received, Player Status will not respond to emails which solely request a status update of submitted application.