International Sportsperson Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 Sportsperson)
This visa has replaced the Sportsperson (T2) visa and the sporting part of the Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting visa (T5).
There are five categories of Skilled Worker applicants who will require a sponsorship certificate from their sponsors in order to make a visa applications in line with the certificate:
- Skilled Worker Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (General))
- Minister of Religion Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Minister of Religion))
- International Sportsperson Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Sportsperson))
- Global Business Mobility from 11 April 2022 (formerly Intra-Company Visa
- Health and Care Worker Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Health and Care Visa))
International Sportsperson Visa
The International Sportsperson route is for an elite sportsperson or qualified sports coach who is internationally established and can make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at its highest level in the UK.
A. Scoring Sections
Initial and Extension Applications
The applicant must be aged 16 or over on the date of application.
An applicant applying for entry clearance or permission to stay as an International Sportsperson for a period of 12 months or less must be awarded a total of 70 points from table A below.
An applicant applying for entry clearance or permission to stay as an International Sportsperson for a period exceeding 12 months must be awarded a total of 80 points from both tables A and B below.
Points required (mandatory)
Governing Body Endorsement
Certificate of Sponsorship
Points required (mandatory) where the period of permission applied for exceeds 12 months
English Language at level A1
Certificate of sponsorship requirement for an International Sportsperson
The applicant must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do.
The sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor the job in question under the International Sportsperson route.
The sponsor must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors unless the applicant was last granted permission as an International Sportsperson and is applying to continue working for the same sponsor as in their last permission.
II English Language
Unless an exemption applies, if the applicant is applying for entry clearance or permission to stay as an International Sportsperson for a period exceeding 12 months, the applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in speaking and listening of at least level A1.
If the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.
If the applicant is applying for entry clearance, or is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK for less than 12 months on the date of application, either:
- (a) the applicant must have funds of at least £1,270; or
- (b) the applicant’s A rated sponsor must confirm on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will, if it is necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment for an amount of at least £1,270.
If the above paragraph applies, the applicant must have held the required level of funds for a 28 day period in the personal bank account.
Maintenance for Dependants: The applicant will require showing extra £285 for his/her spouse, £315 for the first child and £200 for each additional dependent child, if the applicant intends to bring them with him to the UK. The applicant’s sponsor will also be able to certify the dependants of the prospective employee for maintenance purposes.
B. Transitional Measures
The sponsor licences held by clubs and sporting organisations have been converted automatically to the new system. Their sponsor management systems no longer differentiate between T2 and T5 certificates of sponsorship. All certificates are bundled together under the single “International Sportsperson” heading.
This will help sponsors better manage their CoS allocation. There is now a single expiry date before which a CoS allocation must be used or renewed, whereas previously the T5 and T2 certificates might expire at different points in the year.
Sportspeople and their dependants currently in the UK on the previously issued T2 and T5 visa routes will not be affected by any of this.
They can transition into the new route as and when they apply to extend their permission stay.
C. Duration of the International Sportsperson Visa
Sportspersons must opt for entry clearance or permission to stay for one of two periods:
- 12 months or less, or
- between 12 months and three years.
The longer period can be sought only if the person can meet an English language requirement (level A1 in speaking and listening, the same as before). For either period, the sportsperson must have an endorsement, a certificate of sponsorship and meet a financial requirement.
The applicant can extend this visa further for as long as he still meets the relevant immigration requirements.
D. Work Allowed
Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the International Sportsperson Visa category would be allowed to do the following:
- work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
- do a second job in certain circumstances
- play for your national team in the UK
- work as a sports broadcaster
- do voluntary work
- study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they are eligible
E. What work is not allowed?
International Sportsperson Visa workers are not allowed to get public funds, start or run a business or apply for a second job until they have started working for their sponsor.
F. Switching Rules
You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to an International Sportsperson visa.
To do so you must:
- meet the International Sportsperson visa eligibility requirements
- be in the UK on an eligible visa - most visas are eligible
- have an eligible qualification, if you’re switching from a student visa or studying for a PhD
Visas that are not eligible for switching purposes
You cannot apply to switch to this visa if you are currently in the UK:
- on a visit visa - unless you have been doing permitted activities as a sportsperson
- on a short-term student visa
- on a Parent of a Child Student visa
- on a seasonal worker visa
- on a domestic worker in a private household visa
- on immigration bail
- because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds
To discuss your visa applicationContact us
Switch from a Student Visa
If you are switching from a student visa, you must have been sponsored by a licensed sponsor to get one of the following qualifications:
- a UK bachelors degree
- a UK masters degree
- a postgraduate certificate in education
- a professional graduate diploma of education
If you are a PhD student, you must have completed at least 12 months’ study during your most recent stay in the UK. This can be through a licensed sponsor or another visa that allowed you to study.
Administrative Review (Entry clearance, extension and settlement applications)
If the entry clearance, extension or settlement application is refused by the Home Office, the applicant will be given a right to make a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days for entry clearance applications or 14 days for extension and settlement applications of the date of service of the decision.
The applicant will only be able to rely on the information/documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide or submit any fresh evidence with the review request.
It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.
To be able to apply for settlement the applicant must have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK.
The five year continuous period must consist of time with permission on any of, or any combination of, the following routes:
- Skilled Worker; or
- Global talent; or
- Innovator; or
- T2 Minister of Religion; or
- International Sportsperson; or
- Representative of an Overseas Business; or
- as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant; or
- permission on any other route, during the time the applicant was waiting for a decision on their application as an International Sportsperson, providing that application:
- was for permission to stay; and
- was made from and including 24 January 2020 to and including 30 June 2021; and
- was supported on the date of application by a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned by a licensed sponsor; and
- was granted.
What services can we offer?
- We can advise on the procedure of making the International Sportsperson Visa application in line with the sponsorship certificate
- We can assess the job and the applicant`s details and advise on the likelihood of the applicant being sponsored under the International Sportsperson Visa
- We can advise and represent our clients in making their leave to remain/entry clearance applications in line with the certificate of sponsorship
- We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
- We can make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s application is refused for some reason
- We can advise in making applications for indefinite leave to remain for those who have already completed the five years’ qualifying period in the UK
Whatever the case, we are here to assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of their immigration matters.