New Players that are not born in the United States will need to complete more information prior to being placed on a soccer team.
Per FIFA's Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the international clearance process is required when any foreign-born player over the age of 10 is attempting to register with an affiliated club in the United States, regardless of that player's ability or citizenship. U.S. Soccer is responsible for properly obtaining that clearance on behalf of these players before they can register and participate in an affiliated league.
***While Puerto Rico is indeed a U.S. territory, it is recognized as being completely independent from us by FIFA. The same goes for Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They all have their own soccer federations and are viewed as “foreign” with regards to international clearances for players.
*** Due to FIFA’s regulations, and their strict enforcement of the rules regarding international transfers for minors, we are not permitted to clear any players under the age of 18 who have moved to the country without his/her parents. Any violations of FIFA’s regulations could result in serious sanctions for us and our members.
International Clearance Options
Under FIFA's rules, there are four options by which a player born outside of the U.S. can register with an affiliated league.
1. Proof of Entry Prior to 10 – Players who have entered the U.S. prior to the age of 10 (regardless of their current age) and have been continuously living in the country since moving, can supply a copy of the players birth certificate and a copy of an official document to prove that fact (e.g. report cards, doctor records, etc.)
2. First Registration
- U.S. Citizens – U.S. citizens born outside the U.S. (regardless of current age) may simply complete and sign the First Registration form attesting that the player has never been registered at any level to play soccer in any other country. U.S. Soccer can immediately clear the player upon receipt of this document.
- b. Non-U.S. Citizens – A player born outside of the U.S., who is currently over the age of 18, may also complete and sign the First Registration form. U.S. Soccer will contact the foreign association for confirmation and will clear the player once that is received.
3. Minors Process – Any player currently between the ages of 10 and 17 who is NOT eligible for one of the preceding methods must prove to U.S. Soccer that he/she meets one of the following exceptions:
- The player has moved with his/her parents to the U.S. for reasons other than playing soccer (e.g. parent's work).
- The player lives outside the U.S., but no further than 30 miles from the national border. In addition, the U.S. Soccer-affiliated club with which the player wishes to be registered is within 30 miles of that same border. Once verified, U.S. Soccer will request either the player's First Registration clearance or International Transfer Certificate (ITC) from the foreign association, depending on which process is applicable.
4. ITC Request – Any player over the age of 18 who has been previously registered to a club in another country cannot be registered to a club in the United States until U.S. Soccer has received an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) from the player's former association. To initiate this process, the player must complete and submit an ITC Request form to U.S. Soccer, who will then request
Link to FORMS: