Temporary Visas for Work in the United States Equestrian Industry

Our immigration attorneys work with participants in all areas of the equestrian field. Learn more about our equestrian-related immigration services and see the detailed information below on temporary work visas for:

EACH CASE IS DIFFERENT and the likelihood of success varies. For a personal assessment of your unique case and circumstances, please schedule a consultation with Hill & Piibe.

For more free information on any listed visa, visit the USCIS government website.

Temporary U.S. Visas for Riders

 

Type of Rider

Self-Employment Allowed?

Special Requirements

How Long is the Visa Good For?

International Competitor Rider

P-1 visa

Examples: equivalent of USEF, USDF “AA” show championships, FEI ribbons

Pro Competition only

YES – must have contract(s) for work, and an agent

International competition record must have good results

Must compete throughout a season

No coaching, teaching or grooming

5 years

Unlimited renewals with certain conditions

Top 15% nationally/internationally

O-1 visa

Examples: equivalent of USEF/USDF rankings, FEI rankings

Pro Competition OR

Exercise Rider

YES – must have contract(s) for work, and an agent

Competition record: horses/rider must be among top 15% nationally or internationally

Work in U.S. must be for national/international level

No coaching, teaching or grooming

3 Years

Unlimited renewals as long as your competition record stays in top 15%

Distinguished Achievement (non-competition)

O-1 visa

Examples: National studbooks, top breeders, top sales barns

Pro Competition OR

Exercise Rider

YES – must have contract(s) for work, and an agent

Distinguished resume: horses/rider/past employers must have achievements giving them a leading reputation

Critical role in past work

No coaching, teaching or grooming

3 years

Unlimited renewals as long as you maintain a leading reputation

Other purposes

H-2B visa

Examples: U.S. employer has a seasonal need: camps, hacking at home

Pro Competition OR

Exercise Rider

NO

H-2B Visa can be risky—the visa is expensive, and processing could be delayed and shorten the 9-month period

Business records showing the need for seasonal 9-month work

9 months

Unlimited renewals for the same season each year, with certain conditions

Amateur rider

B-1 visa

Examples: WEF circuit, various shows, horse shopping

Amateur

Employment is not allowed

Demonstrated home base in another country

Pattern of frequent entries to the U.S. could incur risk—Hill & Piibe’s border crossing package could help

B-2 visa allows you to attend amateur competitions, up to 6 months

What if I don’t meet any of those above descriptions?

There is no visa category available, and there are no general work permits, sorry. See below for other options

       


Temporary U.S. Visas for Horse Grooms / Stall Cleaners

 

Type of Groom

Is Self-Employment or Independent Contractor OK?

Special Requirements

How Long is the Visa Good For?

Top 15% nationally/internationally

O-1 visa

Examples: USEF/USDF HOTY, FEI Longines rankings

Head Groom

YES – must have contract(s) for work, and an agent

Competition record: horses/riders must be among top 15% nationally or internationally

Work in U.S. must be for national/international level

3 Years

Unlimited renewals as long as horse/rider competition record stays in top 15%

Distinguished organization (non-competition)

O-1 visa

Examples: National studbooks, top breeders, top sales barns

Head Groom

YES – must have contract(s) for work, and an agent

Distinguished resume: horses/rider/past employers must have achievements giving them a leading reputation

Critical role in past work

3 years

Unlimited renewals as long as you maintain a leading reputation

Regular groom or stall cleaner for a 9-month season

H-2B visa

Examples: camps, caring for horses left home, show circuit, winter layups

Any Groom OR

Stall Cleaner

NO

H-2B Visa can be risky—the visa is expensive, processing could be delayed and shorten the 9-month period

Business records showing the need for seasonal 9-month work

9 months

Unlimited renewals for the same season each year, with certain conditions

Groom for P-1 visa pro rider in international competition

P-1S visa

Groom for a P-1 Rider who is here with a P-1 visa

DEPENDS on P-1 rider’s employment arrangement

Demonstrated lawful work experience with the P-1 rider, in an essential support role

Must work with P-1 rider, visa petitions are linked

5 years

Unlimited renewals with certain conditions

What if I don’t meet any of those above descriptions?

There is no visa category available, and there are no general work permits, sorry. See below for other options

       


Temporary U.S. Visas for Equestrian Trainers and Coaches

 

Type of Trainer/Coach

Is Self-Employment or Independent Contractor OK?

Special Requirements

How Long is the Visa Good For?

Top 15% nationally/internationally

O-1 visa

Examples: USEF/USDF HOTY, FEI Longines rankings

Head Trainer OR Assistant Trainer

YES – must have contract(s) for work, and an agent

Competition record: horses/riders must be among top 15% nationally or internationally

Work in U.S. must be for national/international level

3 Years

Unlimited renewals as long as horse/rider competition record stays in top 15%

Distinguished organization (non-competition)

O-1 visa

Examples: National studbooks, top breeders, top sales barns

Head Trainer OR Assistant Trainer

YES – must have contract(s) for work, and an agent

Distinguished resume: horses/rider/past employers must have achievements giving them a leading reputation

Critical role in past work

3 years

Unlimited renewals as long as you maintain a leading reputation

Regular trainer for a 9-month season

H-2B visa

Examples: camps, working on a show circuit, working with horses left home, off-season training

Any type of trainer

NO

H-2B Visa can be risky—the visa is expensive, processing could be delayed and shorten the 9-month period

Business records showing the need for seasonal 9-month work

9 months

Unlimited renewals for the same season each year, with certain conditions

What if I don’t meet any of those above descriptions?

There is no visa category available, and there are no general work permits, sorry. See below for other options

       

Other Equestrian-Related Occupations and Options

 

Is Self-Employment or Independent Contractor OK?

Special Requirements

How Long is the Visa Good For?

Business ownersand essential employees from your same country

E-1 / E-2 Visas

Examples: sales agents, investors, physiotherapists, breeders, consultants, etc.

Business Owner: YES

Employee: NO

Business owner must have at least 50% ownership and/or control of a business involving substantial trade with your home country, or substantial investment in the U.S.

Trade/investment treaty must exist between your country and U.S.

1 year initial, unlimited renewals thereafter every 2-5 years, provided your business continues to thrive

What if I still don’t meet any of those categories?

A consultation with Hill & Piibe can brainstorm other types of visas you could be eligible for, such as H-1B, NAFTA, L-1 and more. See the USCIS website for more free information about these visas. Or read more here on temporary visas.

Schedule a consultation with our immigration attorneys to discuss your specific circumstances and to formulate a strategy for yourself, your family and/or your employees.

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