This Tier 2 category is designed for elite sportspeople and coaches whose employment in the UK will generate a significant contribution to the development of their sport in the at the highest level.
Tier 2 Sports Person visa applicants must intend to base themselves in the UK and must be internationally established at the highest level in their particular sport.
The sponsoring club or professional sports team must hold an employer sponsorship licence allowing them to issue a certificate of sponsorship to professional athletes or coaches. Once this certificate is received, the applicant can apply for entry clearance to the UK from their home country.
Please note that Tier 1 (General) highly skilled migrants are not entitled to seek or take up employment in the UK as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.
Endorsement of the Applicant by the Sport's Governing Body
For a certificate of sponsorship to be issued in the Sports Persons visa category, the sponsoring club must have an endorsement for the applicant from the appropriate governing body for their sport. The endorsement will confirm that:
- The player or coach is internationally established at the highest level; and
- The player or coach will make a significant contribution to the development of his or her sport at the highest level in the UK; and
- The post could not be filled by a suitable settled worker.
Tier 2 Sportsperson Points Assessment
If you are seeking to immigrate to the UK under the Sports People visa category you must achieve a minimum score of 70 points from the following areas of assessment:
Sponsorship - 50 Points
You must have possession of a valid Tier 2 Sports Person certificate of sponsorship.
Please note that the certificate of sponsorship must also have a governing body endorsement number, which the sponsor is responsible for.
English Language - 10 Points
To submit a successful application you must achieve a score of 10 points for your English language skills. There are three ways you can score points for English language:
- Be a national of a majority English speaking country; or
- Pass an English language test from an approved English language test provider; or
- Hold a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a United Kingdom bachelor's degree or above.
Maintenance - 10 Points
To meet the maintenance requirements and achieve the required score of 10 points you must show evidence that you have available funds of £800 which have been in your bank account for at least three months prior to the application being made.
Duration of Stay
If you are granted permission to stay in the UK as a Tier 2 Sports Person, you will be able to live and work in the UK for a maximum time of three years, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship, which ever time is shorter. At the end of this period if you want to stay you will need to apply to extend your stay.
Spouses and Dependents
Tier 2 visas can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain and as such the Tier 2 Sports People visa category makes provision for the spouses and civil or unmarried partners of the applicant and any dependent children to immigrate to the UK at the same time as the main Tier 2 visa applicant.