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Minors Process

Any one player under the age of 18 who is not eligible for the Prior to 12 option, will be required to go through the FIFA TMS process 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.  There are three exceptions to the rule:

  1. The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football.
  2. The transfer takes place within the territory of the European Union
  3. The player lives and the club wishign to register the player are both located no further than 50km (roughly 30 miles) of an international border.

U.S. Soccer will use exceptions #1 and #3, as the second exception deals only with players in Europe.
In 2009, FIFA instituted the FIFA TMS system.  It is an online method to provide FIFA with documentation to prove that a player fits either of the two exceptions above. Documents are uploaded into their syste and are reviewd by FIFA, who make the final determination on whether an ITC request could be requested for a minor player.  However, U.S. Soccer has received a limited exemption from the requirement to use the electronic FIFA TMS system.  U.S. Soccer is now responsible for the document review and determination on whether any player meets either of the two exceptions above.  Although required to uphold the same standards as FIFA, U.S. Soccer is able to much more quickly review the documents and determine whether an ITC request could be requested for a minor player.  
In order to get registered under this process, the minor player (and parents) should follow these steps:

  1. Collect required documentation to prove that the player meets the first of the above-given exceptions.
    1. Player's Passport
    2. Player's Birth Certificate
    3. Player's Parent's Passports
    4. Player's Parents' Work Visa (if available)
    5. Player's Parents' Proof of Residence (Water bill, lease agreement, etc.)
    6. Player's Parents' Proof of Employment (Pay Stub, Employment Verification Letter, etc.)
    7. Completed ITC Request Form (.pdf)(for more information on what is required in these documents, please refer to the 'Protection of Minors-Pertinent Facts Document' (.pdf) provided by FIFA)
  2. Forward documentation to State Association/League and U.S. Soccer Federation
  3. U.S. Soccer will review documentation and determine whether any exception to the general prohibition by FIFA on the international transfer of minors has been met.  
  4. If U.S. Soccer determines that an exception has been met, we will immediately request the player's international clearance from their former federation.
  5. The foreign federation has thirty (30) days to respond to our request.
  6. Once a response is received, U.S. Soccer will notify the State Association/League via e-mail.
  7. If no response is received after 30 days, U.S. Soccer will issue a Provisional or temporary clearance, which will allow the player to register immediately, and notify the State Association/League.
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