Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

International Clearance: Clearing the Path for Football Players

When it comes to football, there are rules and regulations that govern player eligibility and registration. One organization that ensures the adherence to these rules is the U.S. Soccer Player Status Department. Whether you’re a minor, amateur, or professional player, it is essential to understand the processes and requirements involved in participating in U.S. Soccer affiliated clubs and leagues.

Annual Player Registration

Every year, U.S. Soccer organization members are required to register players as outlined in the USSF Bylaw 212. This registration generates a unique FIFA Player ID that identifies the player throughout their career, from grassroots to professional level.

A complete player registration record includes details such as the player’s full name, date of birth, gender, country of birth, and the name and status of the registering club. It is crucial to provide accurate and up-to-date information during the registration process to facilitate clearances and comply with FIFA and U.S. Soccer policies.

Player Clearance Requirements

In accordance with FIFA regulations, a clearance process is necessary when a player over the age of 10 wants to register with an affiliated club/league in the United States. The registering club is responsible for determining the type of clearance required based on the player’s registration history. There are two types of clearances:

  • International Clearance Transfer (ITC): This clearance applies to players who were previously registered with a club affiliated to a different federation and now wish to register with a club affiliated to the United States.
  • First Registration: This clearance is for players who have never been registered with a club before and are not citizens of the country they intend to register in.
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FIFA has imposed a ban on the international transfer of minor players aged 10 to 17. However, there are exceptions for minors who can apply for an International Transfer Certificate or First Registration. More information on these exceptions can be found in FIFA’s “Protection of Minors – Guide to Submitting a Minor Application.”

The Clearance Process

The clearance process begins when the registering club submits the appropriate clearance form and required documents to the Player Status Department for review. The club must ensure that the player is cleared and eligible for affiliated competition before activation. During this period, the player’s participation is limited to pre-season scrimmages, team training, and non-affiliated organized matches/leagues.

The home association, U.S. Soccer, is responsible for requesting the clearance from the relevant parties on behalf of the registering club. The Player Status Department reviews the applications and informs the applicant of their application status. Once the clearance is processed according to FIFA regulations, the applicant is notified of the player’s eligibility.

It is crucial to request and obtain clearances in accordance with U.S. Soccer and FIFA regulations to avoid disciplinary sanctions. Failure to comply may lead to sanctions being issued against U.S. Soccer, the Member Association, the club, and/or the player.


Q: How long does the clearance process take?
A: The processing time varies depending on the type of clearance requested and the information submitted. It is advisable to submit clearance applications at least 30 days prior to the official start of club/league play.

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Q: Can I request a status update on my application?
A: Due to the high volume of applications received, the Player Status Department will only contact applicants for updates when necessary. Therefore, it is not recommended to email solely for a status update.


International clearance plays a vital role in ensuring fair play and transparency in football. The U.S. Soccer Player Status Department is committed to upholding the regulations set forth by FIFA and U.S. Soccer to maintain the integrity of the game. By following the necessary procedures and providing accurate information, players can smoothly navigate the clearance process and pursue their football dreams.

For more information about international clearance and player registration, visit Pesstatsdatabase, your go-to source for all things football.