Yesterday I received three calls from players from three different countries looking for advice.
All three players had their travel Visa, or appointment to get their travel Visa to the United States canceled. Yes. On July 6th, Embassy’s began canceling import player Visa’s to the United States.
With approximately seven weeks to go before the traditional start to the junior hockey season, import player restrictions are not being enforced by leagues as much as they will be by actual border closures.
Speaking with multiple embassy’s throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and Russia during the afternoon, this trend of Visa cancelation or appointment for Visa is expected to continue until the United States reaches a much lower COVID-19 infection rate.
Several Embassy’s made it clear that until the United States is close to the European level of infections per one hundred thousand citizens, Visa’s will not be processed.
Let that information sink in for a little bit.
Now, in light of that information, who still thinks that everything is going to be just alright in the United States this hockey season? Who thinks the import players will be coming to fill in rosters?
A little side note for everyone is that the EU travel program with the United States is a reciprocating agreement. Meaning the EU wont open it’s borders with the USA until the USA opens its borders to Europe.
Anyone think that is going to happen in the next few weeks?
For those of you still with your heads in the sand, I wish you luck. you will need it.
For those of you who are serious about making a plan that will allow you to play on time, you know how to reach me.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser