How Will NIL Law Affect College Athletes on Visas?

    • More than 20,000 athletes come from abroad each year to play in the NCAA.
    • But it’s possible that athletes on student visas won’t be able to make money off their name, image, and likeness.

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One high-profile NIL complication has flown under the radar.

More than 20,000 athletes come from abroad each year to play in the NCAA — but it’s possible that athletes on student visas won’t be able to make money off their name, image, and likeness.

Top college athletes have the potential to earn more than $100,000, according to estimates from companies like AthleticDirectorU.

  • So far, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and New Mexico have passed NIL laws that will take effect July 1. 
  • This week, NCAA President Mark Emmert traveled to Washington to lobby for a federal NIL law to pass by July 1, he told USA Today.

The main issue is that students with F visas can only “do limited on-campus employment here and there,” Robert Seiger, an immigration lawyer and partner of Archer & Greiner P.C.’s sports law practice, told Front Office Sports.

So, if international athletes sign endorsements or work at sports clinics, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could revoke their student visas, Seiger said.

The way the government “ultimately perceives” NIL deals will help determine if international students can benefit. If not, it may take advocacy and lobbying to push for new laws.

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