Visa Options for Social Media Influencers and E-Sports Professionals

The advent of technological advancement has also given rise to various new career opportunities. Two extremely popular new careers that have emerged are social media influencers and e-sports athletes, also known as ‘pro-gamers.’ Immigration law has largely remained unchanged when it comes to visa options for non-immigrants.

However, the creation of these two professions does alter matters to an extent. If individuals of these professions wish to enter the US, they can avail several potential immigration options.

Social Media Influencers

Social Media Influencer is someone who has gained popularity and credibility on any social media channel. Influencers usually have a large following. They are able to promote sales and brand loyalty. If foreign nationals in this profession are looking for opportunities to live and work in the US, they can consider the O-1B Visa.

The O-1B visa allows such individuals to enter the US for work-related opportunities. However, the influencer must be widely acclaimed nationally or internationally. The influencer must also be willing to work with companies in the US and carry out promotional activity on their social media platform.

The influencer must have a large following in a specific industry, such as travel, gaming, fashion, lifestyle, and the like. The O-1B visa originally applied to actors and performers who have displayed extraordinary potential in the television industry or motion pictures. Since being an influencer includes commercial success as well as recognition, it is included within the O-1B category.

E-Sports Athletes

E-Sports Athletes or pro-gamers are considered professional athletes as they partake in tournaments and competitions. They are also organized into leagues like other professional sports. Such individuals can enter the US under two visa categories, the O-1A category (within the broader O-1 bracket) and the P-1A classification.

The O-1A category is largely for individuals who demonstrate the ability to excel in business, education, athletics, or the sciences. These individuals must be highly skilled and must have received national or international recognition. An O-1A petition usually also requires evidence of the sponsored person’s achievements. This can be proof of commercial success such as prizes, interviews, awards. The petition also requires a consultation letter from a related professional organization.

Because the standards of the O-1A category are so high, e-Sports athletes can also try to obtain a visa under the P-1A classification. Any athlete or athletic team can obtain this visa if their performance level is internationally recognized. The P-1A visa requires the filing and acceptance of a petition to the USCIS. Accepted teams or individuals can remain in the US for a period of five years, but this can also be extended to ten years.


With newly emerging careers and forms of employment, you can apply a resourceful approach to your immigration objectives. There is no rule that will guarantee you getting a visa, but hiring an experienced immigration lawyer can increase your chances of doing so.

If you have questions or want to access additional information about US or Canadian Immigration and Nationality Laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at the NPZ Law Group. If you have more questions about how these laws in the US may impact you or your family, contact the lawyers specialized in US Immigration and Nationality laws at VISASERVE. You can also send us an email at or you can call us at 201-670-0006 (x104). In addition to that, we invite you to find more information on our website at