Rapids forward Calvin Harris has obtained a Green Card and will be classified as a domestic player on the club’s roster effectively immediately.
Born in Middlesbrough, England, Harris immigrated to Hong Kong at the age of 10 before moving to the U.S. in 2019 where he played college soccer for Wake Forest University for two seasons. He was drafted by FC Cincinnati in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, going second overall. After two seasons with the Orange & Blue, Harris was traded to the Rapids ahead in December of last year.
Obtaining a Green Card allows an individual to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States. The multi-step process to obtain a Green Card includes petitions, paperwork and an in-person interview at the consulate or embassy of the applicant’s home country. For Harris, the process began during his time in Cincinnati. His initial interview for a Green Card began in London in June 2022, which culminated this past week after Harris completed the final steps in the U.K.
Under MLS Roster Guidelines, domestic players are classified as either a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident (i.e., green card holder), qualifies as a domestic player under the Homegrown International Rule, or the holder of a certain other special status. For players who obtain U.S. permanent residency while employed by MLS, the player will be considered a domestic player for the applicable season if such residency is granted or the player has appeared for an immigrant visa interview by the Roster Compliance Date. Since Harris began his process in 2022, his Green Card meets the Roster Compliance Date for 2023 and his status domestic status will go into effect immediately despite just completing the process last week.
Obtaining domestic status in MLS grants a club roster flexibility due to the limited number of international roster slots available. Each MLS team is given eight international roster slots, which are tradable, in full season increments, such that some clubs may have more than eight and some clubs may have less than eight during any given season. With his Green Card, Harris will no longer occupy one of the Rapids’ international roster slots.