Moving forward, the documentation compiled during the Minors Process will be uploaded directly into FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) by U.S. Soccer; FIFA TMS will then review and notify U.S. Soccer if a First Registration or ITC request for the minor player in question is permitted or not.
If any of the required Minors Process documents are missing in the initial application for a particular player, U.S. Soccer will receive a notification from FIFA TMS (a few weeks after first submitted) requesting the missing information. Once submitted to FIFA TMS, U.S. Soccer conservatively estimates turnaround time on these applications to be around two months.
Anyone player under the age of 18 who is not eligible for the Prior to 12 option or the First Time Registration for a player 12-17, 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. The below exception is relevant to Maryland residents:
- The player’s parents move to the country in which the new club is located for reasons not linked to football.
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 system and are reviewed by FIFA, who would 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:
- Collect required documentation to prove that the player the above-given exception:
- Player’s Passport
- Player’s Birth Certificate
- Player’s Parents’ Passports
- Player’s Parents’ Work Visas (if available)
- Player’s Parents’ Proof of Residence (Water bill, lease agreement, etc.)
- Player’s Parents’ Proof of Employment (Pay Stub, Employment Verification Letter, etc.
- Completed ITC Request Form or FR-11 Form (whichever is required)
(For more information on what is required in these documents, please refer to the “Protection of Minors” provided by FIFA)
- Forward documentation to Maryland State Youth Soccer Association and U.S. Soccer Federation
- 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.
- If U.S. Soccer determines that an exception has been met, we will immediately request the player’s international clearance from their former federation.
- The foreign federation has thirty (30) days to respond to our request.
- Once a response is received, U.S. Soccer will notify the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association via e-mail
- 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 Maryland State Youth Soccer Association.