Any player under the age of 18 who is not eligible for the Prior to 10 clearance method will be required to go through the FIFA Transfer Matching System (TMS) in order to obtain their international transfer clearance.
FIFA's Regulations state that international transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18. However, there are three exceptions to the rule:
- The player's parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to soccer.
- The transfer takes place within the territory of the European Union.
- The player lives outside the country, but no further than 50km from a national border. In addition, the club with which the player wishes to be registered in the neighboring association is also within 50km of that border.
U.S. Soccer can use exceptions No. 1 and No. 3, as the second exception deals only with players in Europe. The documentation listed below is required in order to prove a minor player qualifies for this process.
Please note that these are the only exceptions that can be used to process an international transfer for a minor. U.S. Soccer is not permitted to proceed with a clearance request for a player that does not fit one of these two categories.
To review these applications, documents are uploaded into FIFA TMS and are reviewed by FIFA, which makes the final determination on whether a First Registration clearance or ITC could be requested for a minor player.
In order to get registered under the first exception, the minor player (and parents) should follow these steps:
Collect required documentation to prove that the player meets the ‘parents’ exception:
a) Player’s Passport
b) Player’s Birth Certificate
- Must be in one of the four FIFA languages: English, French, German or Spanish
- If not, please submit a copy of the original birth certificate, along with a certified translation in one of the four FIFA languages?
c) Player’s Parents’ Passports
d) Player’s Parents’ Work Visas
e) Player’s Parents’ Proof of Residence (Lease or Morgage agreement)
- Must include the following information: name(s) of occupants, residence start date, and address.
f) Player’s Parents’ Proof of Employment (Employment Verification Letter that confirms the employment start date, the nature of the work performed, and the term of the employment (ongoing or contracted) or an offer letter that is signed and verified by the employer, pay stubs are not accepted)
- Employment verification is needed for both parents. If one of the parents does not work, please send a signed statement from the unemployed parent explaining why he or she is not employed.
g) Completed ITC Request or First Registration form
- If player has been previously registered outside of U.S., use ITC Request Form
- If player has never been registered to any club, use First Registration Form
h) Statement from club indicating first contact with the player.
- Information about how the first contact was made needs to be included (via tryouts, parent email to club, friend of current player at club, etc.)
i) Statement from the player’s parents regarding the reasons and circumstances behind their move to the United States.
- This is just a simple letter typed up and signed by the player’s parents.
Forward documentation to State Association/League, who will in turn pass on to U.S. Soccer.
Please send all documents in separate, individual PDF files. FIFA TMS only permits the upload of PDFs and does not support any other file format. Documentation sent in any other format will not be accepted and will need to be resent in PDF format.
If you have questions about the process please contact:
Jaime Balboni - firstname.lastname@example.org