Whether you’re a player moving to Europe from the USA or someone moving in the opposite direction, you’ll need to think about your visa requirements and the paperwork that is required to be able to stay and play at your new club.
This is why Prep4Pro are proud to announce an extremely significant signing of our own, as we form a partnership with Lakshmi Challa and her legal practice, Challa Law Group.
Lakshmi has over 20 years’ experience exclusively practicing immigration law. A member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, she also served as Special Counsel on immigration matters in Virginia, advising 36 offices on her specialization as it relates to federal law.
She says: “People think of a visa as a single one-size fits all accreditation allowing you to live and work abroad – and it is often sold that way by businesses set up to make a quick buck. However, there’s a whole A-Z list of visa solutions and it is really important that as a player, you have the right one for you. You can be free to play and also make progress in your career as your situation changes.”
She also says: “It is a question of asking the right questions and listening. The needs of a 17-year old student on a US soccer scholarship are going to be very different from a mature player looking to develop their career with different clubs, or someone with aspirations to go into coaching or management. As I specialize in working with athletes, clubs and colleges I am only too aware of the pitfalls that exist when you don’t have the right, honest immigration advice at the outset.”
On a personal level, Lakshmi is delighted to endorse the Prep4Pro concept: “Prep4Pro is committed to expanding the options of American players who want to develop their talent abroad at a high level and they are also looking to bring the best people to the USA to facilitate that process, and improve our soccer culture.”
Challa is also supportive of the global economy: “I am committed to that principle, the idea that America is a nation founded on the contribution of immigration. I want to see the best people coming here to work and US citizens expanding their experience abroad. We’re living in a global economic environment where talent is rightly, extremely mobile. Both Challa Law and Prep4Pro are at the cutting edge of their respective fields so there’s a natural fit and an opportunity for us both to make a positive impact on the careers of players looking to develop their talents in a new environment.’
She realizes the importance of linking your professional and personal goals in the context of legal immigration. “Peace of mind, in terms of your legal status to work and live abroad, is sometimes seen as an afterthought, especially when the focus is on getting a contract,” says Challa. “However, getting it right, straight off, can be a major step in getting you settled as a foreign national working overseas. We get it right so you can concentrate on what you do best.”
You can read Challa Law’s guide to immigration for athletes here: http://www.challalaw.com/prep4pro/