International Clearances (ITC's)

Per FIFA's Regulations, the international clearance process is required when any foreign-born player over the age of 10 is attempting to register with an affiliated club/team/league in the United States, regardless of that player's soccer ability or citizenship and one or both of the below instances apply:

  • Player was born outside of the United States, including U.S. citizens born abroad.
  • Player previously registered with a club/team/league outside of the United States.

The home association, U.S. Soccer, is responsible for obtaining the clearance on behalf of these players prior to their registration and participation with any U.S. Soccer affiliated club/team/league.  Clearance is required for ALL players who meet one or both of the above instances regardless of past practices, age, nationality, club affiliation, or member organization with which the player is registering/participating.  Failure to adhere to the requirements can result in fines and/or sanctioning from both FIFA and U.S. Soccer.

International Clearance Options

Detailed clearance options, qualifications and forms are listed below. Additional supporting documentation (Birth Certificate, Passport, Certificate of Citizenship, Visa etc.) may be needed for clearance approvals.

In order for clearance to be obtained; all forms must be included in PDF format.

Completed Clearance Forms (with all required supporting documents) should be sent to player_registration@ussoccer.org and copied with noaht@stxsoccer.org from the STX Youth Soccer State Office.

MINORS (Age 17 & Younger)


Age 9 & Younger - Regardless of Citizenship

  • Prior to 10

Age 10-17

  • First Registration - U.S. Citizen
  • First Registration - U.S. Citizen (Awaiting Physical Proof)
  • 5 Year Exception
  • 50km/31mi Exception
  • Parents Move Exception
  • Exchange Student Exception
  • Accompanied Refugee Exception
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Exception

Adult


Age 18+

  • First Registration 18+
  • ITC Request 18+

Minors

U.S. Soccer's Minor Clearances - Options & Forms Outline

FIFA imposed a general ban on the international transfer of minor players (age 10-17). Despite the ban FIFA has identified a few exceptions which minors can apply for an International Transfer Certificate or First Registration.  For more information on minor applications please refer to the Protection of Minors – Guide to Submitting a Minor Application (SEP 2020) published by FIFA.

Player Status processes the identified exceptions as outlined below in the specific order required:

  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:
            a.     Approval
                                   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.

Until the above process is finalized, a player cannot appear on the teams’ official roster, participate in official games and tournaments as outlined by FIFA regulations.  This does not prohibit the player from participating in team trainings and training scrimmages.


Prior to 10 - Age NINE(9) & Younger

Prior to 10 Outline - USSOCCER.COM

This international clearance is for players age NINE (9) and younger at the time of registration regardless of citizenship.
*This process has been updated and does not qualify for any player now over the Age of 10 that resided in the U.S. prior to Age of 10*

Minors - Prior to 10 Form

First Registration Citizen - Age 10-17

First Registration - U.S. Citizen Outline - USSOCCER.COM

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:

  • Never registered outside of the United States.
  • Holds physical proof of U.S. citizenship.

Minors - First Registration U.S. Citizen Form

First Registration Citizen - Awaiting physical proof - Age 10-17

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:

  • Never registered outside of the United States.
  • Does NOT hold the following proof of United States citizenship:
      o United States Passport
      o Certificate of Naturalization
      o Consular Report of Birth Abroad
      o Certificate of Citizenship
  • Meets the ALL of the following criteria:
     o At least one parent, including an adoptive parent, who is a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization.
     o Is a lawful permanent resident; and
     o Is residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.

Minors - First Registration U.S. Citizen - Awaiting Physical Proof Form

5 Year Exception - Age 10-17

5 Year Exception Outline - USSOCCER.COM

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:

  • Never registered outside of the United States
  • Does not have U.S. citizenship
  • Lived continuously in the United States for the last FIVE (5) years

Minors - 5 Year Exception Form

50km/31mi Exception - Age 10-17

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:

  • Player lives outside of the United States
  • The distance between the player’s residence and the club’s headquarters is less than 100km/62mi
  • Player’s residence is within 50km/31mi of common national boarder
  • The club’s headquarters is within 50km/31mi of common national boarder

Minors - 50km/31mi Exception Form

Parents Move Exception - Age 10-17

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:

  • Cannot be cleared using the Prior to 10 nor the First Registration Citizen clearance criteria
  • Player moved with their parent(s) to the U.S. for reasons not related to soccer, OR
  • Player is returning home to the United States where their parent(s) have always resided after taking part in an academic study abroad program outside of the U.S.

Minors - Parents Move Exception Form

Exchange Student Exception (Ages 10-17)

  • The player’s new club has purely amateur status without any legal, financial, or de facto links to ANY professional club domestic or abroad,
  • AND ONE (1) of the below:
       o   The duration of the player’s academic study program and the duration of the player’s intended registration is less than one year, OR
       o   The duration of the player’s academic study abroad program is longer than one year, but the player is turning 18 in less than one year, OR
       o   The duration of the player’s academic study abroad program is longer than one year, but there is less than one year of the program remaining.

Minors - Exchange Student Exception Form

Accompanied Refugee Exception (Ages 10-17)

  • Moved to the United States seeking refuge with their parent(s)
  • Parent(s) have refugee status issued by the United States government or have been admitted to the procedure for being granted asylum

Minors - Accompanied Refugee Exception Form

Unaccompanied Refugee Exception (Ages 10-17)

  • 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.

Minors - Unaccompanied Refugee Exception Form

adult - Age 18+

Adult (18+) Clearances Outline - USSOCCER.COM


First Registration - Age 18+

  • Any player born outside of the United States
  • Never been registered at any level to play soccer in any other country

Adult - First Registration 18+ Form

International Transfer Certificate (ITC) Request 18+

  • This international clearance is for any player who is 18+ at the time of registration regardless of citizenship and who last participated in organized soccer with a club/team/league outside of the United States.

Adult - 18+ ITC Request Form

Additional Resources

International Clearance Overview

U.S. Soccer's Frequently Asked Questions

Amateur Reinstatement