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State Dept. Waives Visa Fees for Participants in 2014 Special Olympics Summer Games and 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games


The Department of State has waived fees for applications (i.e., machine-readable visa) and visa issuances (i.e., reciprocity) for certain participants in the 2014 Special Olympics Summer Games Invitational taking place in Los Angeles, California, from June 6 to 8, 2014, and the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games taking place in Los Angeles from July 25 to August 2, 2015. Approximately 250 accredited delegation members are expected to attend the 2014 Games, and 6,500 members will attend the 2015 Games. The included roles are:

  • Athletes and Unified Partners (athletes without an intellectual disability who train and compete on teams with persons with intellectual disabilities);
  • Coaches, trainers, referees, and judges;
  • Other supporting staff accredited to the Games (e.g., medical doctors, nurses, therapists, Special Olympics staff from regional offices, and technical delegates to oversee each sport);
  • Heads and assistant heads of the delegation;
  • Medical doctors participating in the Healthy Athletes Program;
  • Global Messengers (former athletes acting as spokespersons during the Games); and
  • Police officers who will participate in the final leg of the Torch Run.

The Department has authorized U.S. consular posts worldwide to issue multiple-entry B-1/B-2 visas to qualifying applications. International media are not included in the fee waiver and will need to apply and qualify for I visas. “The same holds true for all petitionable classifications, such as temporary workers, entertainers, and cultural exchange groups,” the Department cable states.

The related cable, which includes additional information about applicable dates and other facts, is available as a PDF.

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