Specialists in Sports Immigration Law
Let’s make the perfect team
Our specialist immigration lawyers in London can be your perfect teammate in assisting you with all aspects of your UK visa. Our team of immigration lawyers have over 18 years combined experience in working within all areas of UK immigration, including sports immigration law. Whether you’re an elite sports player who has signed for a new club, an olympic level athlete, or an individual who has received endorsement to play for a local team in the UK, our London based immigration lawyers can confidently and accurately advise you on your immigration matter.
The UK has a long tradition of hosting sporting events such as the olympics, commonwealth games and the Europa League, and attracting the finest sportspersons to compete here. Sports immigration law is in place to reflect this, making the process of securing a UK visa fast and easy.
What requirements exist for sportspeople to enter the UK?
To enter the UK as a sportsperson, there are 4 broad requirements. These are intended for use as a guide only and are not a substitute for tailored legal advice.
1. The applicant must have a certificate of sponsorship.
This means that the individual must be employed by someone who has a licence to employ sportspersons. For example, if a professional footballer wished to sign for a UK club and they did not have the appropriate rights to work in the UK, they could then only join a football club which held the appropriate Tier 2 licence.
2. The applicant must also have the endorsement of a designated body.
Every sport has a professional overseeing body which will endorse the sportsperson as broadly skilled enough that they deserve a certificate in their favour. For example, the Football Association would grant an endorsement for a football player, and without it the club could not sign the player. All governing bodies in sports immigration, have a general criteria to assess a player’s skill. It is usually based on their promise as a sportsperson, or whether they have played in 75% of their country’s international games over a specific period of time.
3. The sportsperson must meet the English Language Requirements.
This is usually set at IELTS 6.5. If the sportsperson does not have this, there is an option to apply for a temporary visa to play as a sporting worker under Tier 5, which does not require English Language.
4. Proof of having funds to support themselves whilst in the UK.
Individuals should be able to show that they have the appropriate level of funds in their bank accounts to support themselves, and any dependents, whilst in the UK. Bank records would need to be shown covering the previous 3 months. Alternatively, the sportsperson’s employer can cover the costs of the applicant and their family if this is evidenced in the application..
The above rules do not apply if the applicant has alternative permission to work in the UK, for example:
- The applicant is a British overseas territories citizen.
- The applicant is a Commonwealth citizen, because at least one of your grandparents was born here – see the UK ancestry page for further details.
- The applicant has indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom.
For assistance with sports immigration, please get in touch with a member of our team. We have worked with a number of businesses and individuals, across a variety of sports, countries and levels. Our team of immigration lawyers in London have connections with a number of endorsing bodies, and can assist you in making the process easy.
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