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Philadelphia Union forward Cory Burke expected to miss 3 months due to visa issues

Burke was in the process of obtaining a green card when something occurred for him to lose his P1 visa status.

Philadelphia Union forward Corey Burke is stuck in Jamaica facing visa issues and won't return to the club for at least three months. (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

CHESTER, Pa. — The Philadelphia Union will be without one of their top goal scorers for quite some time. Cory Burke is expected to miss three months due to visa issues, sporting director Ernst Tanner announced during Friday’s training session. 

“Cory is down in Jamaica to do his visa and the green card process,” Tanner told reporters. “Unfortunately, it turned out that he will not be coming back before three months, maybe even longer, which means that he is not available for us due to personal issues.

“He lost his P1 status. That’s the problem. He needs to re-apply for that.”

Burke was in the process of obtaining a green card when something occurred for him to lose his P1 visa status, which allows him to play in the United States. The issue that triggered this situation was not club related, per the Union. 

“We expected him to be back having his green card,” Tanner said. “Something happened, obviously, and then we got that news. We got it exactly on Wednesday. We have to clarify what exactly is going on.” 

Burke will be listed as unavailable on the Union’s roster and will not take up an international spot during his absence from the club.

There is a possibility the club loans him out to a team outside of the United States to receive minutes, but it is unclear yet if that will be allowed by Major League Soccer. 

“That would be a possibility, but that is also something we need to talk to MLS about,” Tanner said. 

Burke’s status for the Concacaf Gold Cup in June has yet to be determined. There is potential for him to enter the United States on a temporary visa with the Jamaican national team.

Tanner said the timeline for Burke’s return is three months, but it could take more or less time, depending on the situation and speed of process.

Tanner made clear that Burke will be back with the club at some point in 2019. 

“Basically, we will have him back,” Tanner said. “That’s for sure. The matter of time is the question. As you know, the season is going on. Three months time, and then in addition you have to calculate a few weeks for training, so the season might be over when he’s back.” 

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