Unaccompanied Refugee Exception
This international clearance is for any player who at the time of registration is between the ages of 10 and 17 and meets the following criteria:
- Moved to the United States seeking refuge without their parent(s).
- Player holds refugee status issued by United States government or has been admitted to the procedure for being granted asylum.
- Unaccompanied Refugee Exception Form
- ONE (1) of EACH of the SEVEN listed supporting documents is required.
- Must be in English, Spanish, German, or French.
- Acceptable documents limited to:
1. Player’s Visa or Department of State Travel Document
- If the Department of State Travel Document is submitted and contains the player’s name, nationality, date of birth, parent information, and the relevant refugee status stamp, this one document can be used in place of requirements 1-3.
2. Player’s Original Birth Certificate
- If document is not in one of the four above listed languages - FIFA requires a certified translation of the birth certificate AND the original.
- Must contain parentage information.
3. Player’s Passport or Permanent Resident Card
4. Proof of Custody
- A copy of the decision of the relevant national authority regarding the current legal custody of the player.
5. Authorization of Custody Holder
- Signed letter of consent from the custody holder that the player may register with the club.
- Must contain the player’s name and club name.
6. Parental Situation
- Statement from the custody holder that addresses the current situation and whereabouts of the player’s biological parents.
7. Status of New Club
- On official club letterhead
- Signed letter from the club stating whether they have any legal, financial, or de facto links to a professional club and describing such links, if present
- Signed by club administrator and/or coach
A complete application includes the following as described below:
- All fields completed
- Current and accurate information
- Individual documents/attachments in PDF format no larger than 5MB.
Applications with missing, incomplete, inaccurate/wrong information, improper formatting will not be considered for review and applicant will be required to resubmit for processing.
For this type of international clearance:
1. Player Status uploads required materials to FIFA TMS for review and approval by FIFA.
2. FIFA determines if the requirements of the submitted application are met and reviews the supporting documents.
3. FIFA advises U.S. Soccer of their decision. FIFA does not have a timeline in which they will render a decision.
4. FIFA decision received:
i. International Transfer Certificate (ITC) – Player Status submits a request to FIFA TMS for an ITC for the minor.
ii. First Registration - Player Status reaches out to the foreign Member Association (MA) in the country of birth of the player to verify there has not been any previous registrations for the player.
b. Rejects or requests additional information
i. Rejected application – FIFA does not provide grounds for rejection.
ii. Additional document request – FIFA outlines what additional documents are required and indicates a specific period of time in which Player Status must send the documents. If the documents are not submitted within specified time the application will be rejected and will need to be resubmitted.
Once eligibility is determined, Player Status will notify the applicant and those copied on the original submission.
Per FIFA regulations, the MA has seven (7) days to respond to U.S. Soccer on the requested First Registration.
- Player is eligible to register with the requesting club/team/league if:
o No response is received after seven (7) days from the MA
o The MA confirms there is no record of previous registration for the player
- Player is NOT eligible to register with the requesting club/team/league if:
o The MA confirms there is record of previous registrations for the player
Previously registered players with foreign MAs will have to resubmit an application indicating the correct club/team/league with which they were registered last abroad. Player Status must submit the new application to FIFA for review and approval prior to being permitted to request an ITC for the player.
INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER CERTIFICATE
Per FIFA regulations, the releasing MA has seven (7) days to respond to U.S. Soccer. Player is eligible to register with the requesting club/team/league if:
- The releasing MA approves the ITC and transfers the certificate to Player Status
- The releasing MA does not respond to the request and on the eighth (8th) day FIFA TMS will provide Player Status the option to record a provisional clearance.
If the application received by Player Status contains incorrect information, i.e. incorrect previous club name, the releasing MA will reject the player details and ITC request. Applicant will be required to resubmit an updated application.
Please note, Player Status is unable to provide/respond to status updates requests. Once an application has an update, all relevant parties will be notified accordingly.