NIL Guidance for International Student Athletes in 2023

Last Updated on November 28, 2023

One of the top issues in name, image and likeness is the inability of international student athletes to participate in most NIL activities. I recently hosted a webinar with immigration attorneys Ksenia Maiorova and Amy Maldonado, who’ve both helped multiple athletes obtain visas that allow them to take advantage of NIL opportunities not possible under student visas.

You can check out the full interview below. See below for timestamps noting specific topics covered.

1:24: Breaking down the types of visas potentially available for international student athletes, including F-1, P-1A, O-1A and EB-1A

6:28: Limitations on international student athletes on an F-1 visa

7:59: Whether athletes on an F-1 can argue NIL deals are related to their major

10:29: Whether athletes on an F-1 can work camps/clinics over the summer

11:16: Passive NIL opportunities international student athletes can take advantage of

17:53 The myth that small NIL deals won’t be noticed by consular officers

20:24: The lack of an appeals process for visa denials/revocations

23:31: Workarounds international student athletes have tried that don’t work (getting paid in their home country/currency, donating to charity, etc.)

27:04: Completing NIL deals while competing in another country

30:45: Completing NIL deals while in their home country

32:46: How an international student athlete could qualify for a P-1A visa and safely participate in NIL opportunities

39:26: If student athletes become employees, how does that change circumstances for international student athletes?

40:19: How an international student athlete could qualify for a O-1A or EB-1A visa and safely participate in NIL opportunities

46:49: The timeline and cost of pursuing a P-1A or O-1A visa

49:49: Issues specific to Russian student athletes

50:43: Why the Dartmouth men’s basketball team’s NLRB case is interesting because of their international student athletes

55:13: What does the future look like for international student athletes?


  • Kristi Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

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