- Leffen isn’t the only one who has experienced this. There are a few others facing the same situation.
- The qualification and discussion of what makes esports a “legitimate” sport is ongoing.
- The reason Leffen was deported was because the Visa he held was a tourist Visa.
- While competing or “working,” it is required that you have an athlete’s Visa.
- P1 Visa is the “Internationally Recognized Athlete” Visa – see the snippet below pulled from USCIS.gov.
Individual Athletes Eligibility Criteria
You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.
*Edit: Since this article was published, Leffen has received a temp Visa.
The latest shift in the esports community targets one of Super Smash Bros. Melee’s best players, William “Leffen” Hjelte. Leffen was deported (while sponsored by an American company) and on top of this, he was also denied a P1 Visa. Let’s back up, there is a bit more to mention: