If you are looking to come to the UK on a Sportsperson Visa, the QC Immigration team has extensive experience in dealing with this visa and can guide you through the entire process. Our immigration lawyers will outline which documents you need to provide to support your application. No matter where you are in the world, our London-based team can provide a remote service, so you can benefit from our team’s expertise in UK immigration laws. If you would like to discuss this visa please get in touch.
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The International Sportsperson Visa has replaced the Sportsperson Visa (T2) and offers elite sportspeople long term stay in the UK. This is for athletes and coaches who will be representing and training with UK-based teams.
The International Sportsperson Visa offers a long-term option for those who may be a part of UK-based sports teams. The International Sportsperson Visa can last for up to 3 years, with the potential to extend if you continue to meet the visa requirements. Depending on their circumstances, sportspeople who spend a limited amount of time in the UK may prefer to apply for shorter-term visas, for example, a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa.
If a sportsperson is due to move to the UK to reside here while training, coaching, or officiating, it is highly advisable to ensure that your application for the Sportsperson Visa has a good chance of acceptance on the first attempt. This will avoid the drawn-out and costly Administrative Review process.
That is where we can help. At QC Immigration we have an experienced team that will be able to assist a sportsperson with their visa application. We will offer helpful guidance and will assist you in putting together a strong and convincing application that clearly highlights your eligibility. This will give you the best chance of acceptance on your first attempt, which will allow you to compete or train in the UK with no disruption to your schedule.
International Sportsperson Visa requirements
Sportspeople seeking long-term stay in the UK must meet a number of requirements in order to successfully apply for an International Sportsperson Visa. It is important to ensure that they do so before applying in order to make the application process as clear and easy as possible.
This visa will require an endorsement from your sport’s governing body. You must contribute towards your sport’s development at the highest level and you must also meet general requirements for a visa with a longer stay. Requirements include:
- Proof of your knowledge of English (for stays over 12 months)
- Evidence that you can financially support yourself.
- A valid Certificate of Sponsorship.
- History of your travels over the last 5 years.
- An eligible qualification if you’re switching from a Student Visa.
Note that there may be additional requirements depending on your circumstances and which country you are applying from, such as a tuberculosis test or certified translations of your documents.
This visa offers up to 3 years of stay with an option to extend should you meet – and continue to meet throughout your stay – the eligibility criteria. This offers the sportsperson a route towards a 5-year Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Teams or organisations looking to bring over sportspeople as employees must obtain a Sponsor Licence; this will also require you to obtain an endorsement from your sport’s governing body. Your sport’s governing body must be recognised and approved by the Home Office.
Meeting requirements for the Sportsperson Visa
It is important to make sure that you are eligible and are able to highlight this to the Home Office when applying for the International Sportsperson Visa. We can help you with this. Book a consultation with us and we will help you put together a comprehensive and convincing application.
Our team with decades of combined experience will be able to put you on the path that gives you the highest likelihood of success with your first visa application.
For sportspeople seeking shorter access to the UK for a single competition or event, there are alternative visa routes that offer shorter periods of stay.
Sports Visitor or (Standard) Visa
If you are coming to join a team or association, typically you will need to be sponsored by an employer. If you are going to be in the UK only for a single event then a Visitor Visa might be appropriate. This visa will allow you to visit the UK for up to 6 months where you will be able to take part in sporting activities or training.
This route is also available for sporting officials, such as referees who may be seeking to access the UK in order to officiate sporting events.
Permitted Paid Engagement Visa
If you only seek to access the UK for a single event the most applicable visa option would be the Permitted Paid Engagement Visa.
It is similar to the Sports Visitor (Standard) Visa although you will only have a single month of stay. Athletes, coaches, and officials can apply for this visa if they only intend on spending a short period in the UK for sporting activities or competitions.
Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange Visa
If you require a period of stay between a year and two years but do not intend on staying longer than this or pursuing ILR, you may benefit from the Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange Visa.
You will be granted a 12 to 24 months stay, depending on your exchange scheme. You will need a certificate of sponsorship as well as the finances to support yourself in order to successfully apply for this visa.
Why work with QC Immigration?
With an experienced and knowledgeable team, QC Immigration will be able to support your Sportsperson Visa application and ensure you have a heightened chance of acceptance.
Having submitted thousands of visa applications, we know what the Home Office is looking for and will be able to help you put together and submit your own application that will clearly and convincingly highlight why you are eligible for your International Sportsperson Visa.
Through consultation, we can also ensure that you meet all the requirements before applying, and improve your chances moving forward.
How do I apply for the Sportsperson Visa?
All applications are made online, on the Home Office website. You will need to check that you have all the required documents before applying.
Can I bring my family to the UK on a Sportsperson Visa?
You can bring dependants on an International Sportsperson Visa. This means that you can bring your partner and children under the age of 18 (unless they are already residing in the UK and you are switching to a Sportsperson Visa from another visa). They will need to apply separately from your visa application.
How much will my Sportsperson Visa cost?
The cost of your visa may depend on the duration of your stay and whether you are applying from outside the UK or switching visas in the UK.
If you’re staying up to 12 months, the fee is £259 per person.
If you’re staying for longer than 12 months, it costs:
£625 per person if applying from outside the UK
£719 per person if applying from inside the UK to extend or switch
Get in touch if you would like more guidance.
Make sure you also consider additional costs, such as the Immigration Health Surcharge, biometrics, any translations required or legal fees.
How long does it take to get a decision?
The Home Office will typically give you a decision within 8 weeks of the application date if you are in the UK, or 3 weeks if you’re outside the UK. Priority services may be available for an additional fee.
What happens if my Sportsperson Visa is rejected?
If your visa is rejected, you may lodge an Administrative Review. This would depend on the merits of your case and can be both costly and time-consuming. It is advisable to bring on legal assistance if your visa has been rejected so that you can put forward a comprehensive and convincing case in order to increase the likelihood of the Home Office reconsidering its decision.
Can I extend a Sportsperson Visa?
A Sportsperson Visa can be extended if you wish to stay longer. The extension application should be made before the visa expires. Dependants may also apply to extend at the same time or prior to visa expiry.