Say someone tries out for a team not in their country of nationality and the team will accept them.

Given that this is professional, what would the player/team have to do?

Visitors to foreign countries aren't allowed to work without a specific visa, but this can be complicated.

How does this generally work out, in professional leagues at any level, when players may be drafted or signed, or even try out for international teams and make the cut?

For example, a USA-born player drafted to the Toronto Maple Leafs; a Canadian-born player drafted to the English Premier League; or just someone who tried out for a team in another country with good chances of acceptance?

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    I'm guessing "Florida Gators" is a typo here - as a college team, they are (very definitely!) not professional and don't draft players. – Philip Kendall Jun 10 '16 at 19:26
  • @Nij The EPL doesn't have a draft either :-) – Philip Kendall Jun 12 '16 at 20:45
  • You know what's meant, I guess. – Nij Jun 12 '16 at 22:21
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    This is really broad... you're basically asking about the immigration laws of all countries with a sports league... – kuhl Jun 15 '16 at 19:42
  • Most countries require a work permit, with your profession being sportsperson. This is a really broad question though. Can you narrow it down to which country you want to know about? Also which sport will be helpful to look for previous case examples. – ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226 Jun 16 '16 at 6:06

You've pretty much answered your own question here: a player cannot play professionally without having permission to work in that country. Citizens of that country have permission to work, and others need to get a visa or similar.

Specifically for the USA, any player with a major league contract with any of the NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NFL will automatically qualify for a P-1 visa, and players with a minor league contract will (probably?) qualify for an H-2B visa. (Source: Liebl & Kirkwood).

Other countries may have similar arrangements - it is occasionally an issue for footballers and cricketers in the UK to obtain a work permit, although EU citizens (mostly footballers) automatically have the right to work in the UK and the Kolpak ruling enables the citizens of a number of cricket playing countries to work in the UK.

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