International Sportsperson Visa

Immigration Lawyers supporting sports people with their visas to the United Kingdom.

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International Sportsperson Visa​

The Sportsperson (Tier 2) visa and Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting (Tier 5) visa routes have been replaced with effect from December 2020 to the new and improved International Sportsperson visa.

At UKVI we have specialists that have already trialled and experienced success with this new route and can offer you comprehensive guidance with your application. The International Sportsperson visa is open to an elite sportsperson or qualified coach, of all nationalities, and allows you to develop your sport in the UK to the highest level. Your application must be endorsed by your sport’s governing body.

This route can also lead to settlement in the UK, for you and dependent family members (partners and children), following the completion of a qualifying period of five years.

General Eligibility Requirements​

To qualify for an International Sportsperson visa, you must:

  • Be sponsored by a UK employer that’s been approved by UKVI and holds a valid sponsorship license to that effect
  • Have a valid ‘certificate of sponsorship’ (CoS) issued by the approved sponsor (employer)
  • Demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the English Language, if you’re applying to stay for longer than 12 months
  • Have sufficient funds or personal savings to support yourself for the first 28 days when you arrive in the UK
  • Show your travel history over the last 5 years

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)​

To make this application you must be issued with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your sponsoring employer. Our UK Visa Specialists can provide expert advice and technical guidance to you personally or to your employers on the criteria and issuance of a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. Once issued, the certificate of sponsorship will remain valid to use for 3 months.

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Family Members

Your partner and children can also apply to come with you or join you in the UK as your ‘dependants’. They will be eligible if they are any of the following:

  • your husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner
  • your child under 18 – including if they were born in the UK during your stay
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as your dependant

You must provide proof of your relationship to your partner or child for their application to be successful. You must also pay a separate fee for each dependent and show additional funds for their maintenance for the first 28 days when they arrive in the UK.

How Long Can You Stay?

Your visa can be valid for any term ranging from 12 months to three years. Your employer will set the terms and length of your visa based on how long they require you to work for them.

It is common for someone to be sponsored initially for 12 months and later apply to extend (if you remain with the same employer) or update their visa (if you change jobs or employers).

If your partner or children are applying with you as dependents, they will also be granted the same length of visa as you. If your partner or children apply at a later date their visa will be valid upto the same date as your visa, after which you will apply to extend together.

How Much Does It Cost?

The standard fee is £244 for up to 12 months and ranges from £610 to £704 for a visa for more than 12 months. The exact amount will depend on where you are applying from (inside or outside the UK).

You must also pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application which is currently £624 per year. Also, you need to have sufficient funds to support yourself for the first 28 days when you arrive in the UK.

Your sponsor will have to pay separate fees to issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship. This includes a Certificate cost and Immigration Skills charge. For more on this please visit our sponsorship license page.

How Long Does It Take?

It will take UKVS experts no longer than 2 or 3 weeks to complete the processing of your application. In this time, we will discuss the contents of your application and the supporting documents with you.

You should try and apply up to 3 months prior to the date you are expected to start the job in the UK. Once applied, you’ll get a decision within 3 weeks (if applying from outside the UK) and 8 weeks (if applying to switch from another route from inside the UK).

You can apply for a quicker decision from inside the UK. If you are outside the UK however, the option to request a faster decision depends on which country you are applying from.

Contact Our Lawyers

If you would like more advice or to discuss your visa application with one of our UK Visa specialists, you can contact our team of specialists on 0161 843 9000 or complete our enquiry form below.