Tier 2 Sportsperson
What Is the UK International Sportsperson Visa?
The UK International Sportsperson Visa is designed for internationally recognized athletes and coaches who aim to contribute to the development of their sport in the UK at an elite level. This visa has replaced the former Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa and Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Visas.
Eligibility Criteria for a UK International Sportsperson Visa
To be considered for this visa, you must be endorsed as an elite sportsperson or an expert coach by the governing body of your specific sport at an international level.
Duration and Benefits of the Visa
Initially, the UK International Sportsperson Visa is granted for up to 3 years. You can extend it if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. After 5 years, you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.
As a holder of this visa, you are entitled to live, work for your sponsor (including second jobs if eligible), engage in sports broadcasting, study, and travel freely within the UK. You can also bring your family members such as your partner and children with you.
If you don’t meet the criteria for the International Sportsperson Visa, you may explore the Skilled Worker Visa option.
UK Sports Visa Requirements
To apply successfully, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be endorsed internationally as a player or coach by an approved governing body.
- Hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed employer.
- Meet financial criteria.
- Show your travel history of the past 5 years.
- Meet English language proficiency standards.
- Provide a clear tuberculosis test result if from a specified country.
A letter of endorsement from an approved governing body of your sport in your home country is necessary. This letter must confirm your international recognition and contribution to the sport.
You must demonstrate savings of at least £1,270, held for at least 28 days. This requirement may not apply under certain conditions. Your UK employer can also support you with a specific certification.
English Language Requirement
For stays over a year, you must meet the English language requirement through specific qualifications or being from an eligible English-speaking country.
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Transition from International Sportsperson Visa to ILR
After 5 years, you may be eligible for ILR if you meet specific criteria, including continuous residence and passing the Life in the UK test.
International Sportsperson Visa Extension
You can apply to extend your visa for another 3 years if you meet the same requirements. Extension applications cost £719 per person and take up to 8 weeks.
International Sportsperson Visa Dependents
You can bring your dependents to the UK. There are specific requirements for partners and children, including financial support of:
- £285 for your partner.
- £315 for your first child.
- £200 for each additional child.
Including your visa application number (i.e., Global Web Form or Unique Application Number) on your dependant’s visa applications is essential.
This visa provides opportunities for sports professionals to live and contribute to sports in the UK, while also enjoying the benefits of living in the country. The process is detailed, so it is vital to understand the requirements to ensure a successful application.