Friday, August 7, 2009

Consular Processing: A Learning Experience for the Sacramento Kings' Draft Pick Omri Casspi

The Sacramento Bee reports on the experience of Omri Casspi, the 23rd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, in acquiring a P-1 visa sponsored by his newest employer, the Sacramento Kings.

Obtaining a visa to play in the United States remains a major irritant for the non-Americans in the league. Most of the time the NBA teams turn their attorneys loose on the immigration matter. But as Omri Casspi is learning - as did Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglu back in the day - the process is not hassle-free. Multiple time-consuming meetings at the U.S. Embassy remain common. In Casspi's case, the Kings rookie appeared for a 7:30 a.m., appointment on Tuesday and was required to return again Wednesday to finalize the paperwork. He sounded relieved to have the matter resolved. "Done, over," he said afterward. "I'm ready to go."

Casspi, while obscure in the United States, is well known in his native Israel as he starred for the country's best basketball team (Maccabi Tel Aviv) prior to joining the Kings. Even star basketball players are not immune from the vagaries of the U.S. Department of State's visa procedures.

No comments:

Post a Comment