International Player Clearance Process
The international clearance process described below is one mandated by FIFA and the US Soccer Federation. The process is entirely regulated and administrated by US Soccer. We at Massachusetts Youth Soccer have no power to clear players. That power rests entirely with US Soccer. It is your responsibility to contact US Soccer and make sure your international players are cleared appropriately before we can allow them to participate in National Championship Series play.
Again, we do not administer these rules or this process so if you have questions please contact Mike Gorman at US Soccer at MGorman@ussoccer.org and he can answer any questions you may have. You will need proof of clearance to allow us to approve international born players on your event roster.
Background of Procedure
Since September 2013, all teams entered into the National Championship Series (State Cups) across the country are required to complete and return the International Player Clearance Certification Form in order to:
1. Certify that they have no players who were born outside of the United States; or
2. Provide a list of all foreign born players, including US citizens. Each player on the list will be required to be cleared prior to being placed on the NCS roster. Further, clearance must occur prior to the team’s roster freeze date.
If roster changes are permitted prior to the roster freeze date, these requirements are also applicable to the player(s) being added to the roster.
FIFA requires all players over the age of 12 to receive an international transfer clearance (“ITC”) from their former country when they are attempting to register to play soccer in a different country (i.e., the United States). U.S. Soccer is responsible for obtaining that ITC on behalf of all players in the U.S. participating in affiliated leagues.
FIFA, however, prohibits the transfer of players between the ages of 12 to 17 (minors) unless the player meets one of two exceptions:
1. The player has moved with his/her parents to the U.S. for reasons other than playing soccer (e.g. work);or
2. The player and prospective club are both located within 30 miles of an international border. [Note – this exception will not be applicable in Massachusetts]
International Transfer Clearance Options
Under FIFA’s rules, there are four (4) options by which a player born outside of the U.S. can register with an affiliated league:
1. Entry Prior to Age 12 - Players who entered the U.S. prior to the age of 12 (regardless of their current age) can supply a copy of an official document to prove that fact (e.g. – report cards, immunization records, doctor records). For More information CLICK HERE
2. First Registration – Different guidelines apply to US citizens and Non-US citizens. For More information CLICK HERE
3. Minors – Any player currently between the ages of 12 to 17 who is NOT eligible for one of the proceeding methods must prove to U.S. Soccer that he/she meets exceptions #1 above. Once verified, U.S. Soccer will request the ITC from the former federation. Per FIFA regulations, that federation has up to 30 days to respond after which U.S. Soccer can issue a provisional international transfer clearance. For More information CLICK HERE
4. ITC Request – Players 18 years of age and over who are not eligible for either the Entry Prior to Age 12 or First Registration options will need to fill out the ITC Request Form and submit it to U.S. Soccer. U.S. Soccer will then request the ITC from the former federation. Per FIFA regulations, that federation has up to 30 days to respond after which U.S. Soccer can issue a provisional international transfer clearance. For More information CLICK HERE