You are a soccer player or a sportsperson who has a job offer from the UK. To be able to work in the country as a professional player, you need a UK sportsperson visa to legally stay in the country.
The article explains who is eligible for a sportsperson visa, requirements, the application process, fees, validity, and FAQs.
The UK Sportsperson Visa comes under the work visa category. It’s for foreign sportspersons who want to work for a British employer in the sports field, like soccer players and coaches.
Who is eligible for a UK Sportsperson visa?
In case you fall in the following categories, you are eligible for a Sportsperson visa:
You must be a non-EU and Swiss national.
Having a job offer from a British employer that has the Sponsor Licence is a must.
Hold a certificate of sponsorship
It contains your information and details about the job you have been offered in the UK. Remember that it’s an electronic form, not a paper one.
You will receive a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your employer. You should include the number in your application. Keep in mind that you can use the number only once.
Have enough funds
Having enough funds to cover your expenses in the UK is a must. The British officials require you to have £1,270 in your bank account. The money must be in the account for at least 28 consecutive days.
You don’t need to prove financial independence if:
- You have been in the UK under a valid visa for at least one year.
- Your employer will cover all of your expenses during the first month of your stay.
In case you bring your family members, you need to have enough funds for them. The requirement is as follows:
- £285 for your spouse or partner
- £315 for one child
- £200 for each additional child
You should be a qualified coach or an elite sportsperson and be at the highest ranking of your profession internationally.
The governing body of your sport should endorse you. There are about 60 endorsing centers in the UK, and each has its principles.
Your job in the UK will promote your sport in UK to the highest level.
You need a language proficiency certificate to be eligible. It must be in CEFR Level A1 (speaking and listening).
You can prove language certificate in the following ways:
- take an English language test like IELTS
- have an academic certificate in English. The UK NARIC must approve and recognize the certificate as equal to the UK certificate like:
If you are from the following countries, you don’t need to prove your language proficiency:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
What are the requirements for a Sportsperson visa?
The requirements for a UK Sportsperson visa are as follows:
Certificate of a sponsorship reference number
You need to get this number from your employer.
English knowledge proof
See the section above to know how to prove your language proficiency. You might be exempt.
Proof to have enough funds
Passport or travel document
It must hold validity at the time of application and have one blank page at least.
If you are from one of the British government’s listed countries, you need a TB test result to enter the UK.
A letter of endorsement
You need to pay for the Healthcare surcharge as well on the UK visa and immigration website.
Note: In case your documents are not in English, have them translated by a verified transport.
The provided list of documents is not complete, and the authorities could require further documents. It’s up to your case and the country you live in.
UK Sportsperson visa application process
The application process for a Sportsperson visa is as follows:
Before you apply for the Sportsperson visa, determine if you are eligible or not. The eligibility principles are explained above. As you see, the British authorities are strict over them.
The application process is online and from outside of the UK. You need to visit the UK Visa and Immigration Website. Remember you need a verified email address so to register on the website.
Complete the forms with accurate and appropriate information.
The website wants you to choose a place to submit the requirements. It is by the country you live in. See if you can get to the embassy or visa center.
You will have to submit some supporting documents to the authorities. See the part above to know what they are. Bear in mind that the officials could ask for further requirements.
Depending on your nationality, you might have to take a TB test and provide the results. See the section above to know more.
4. Visa appointment
Contact the visa center or the British embassy you choose to submit the requirements. Schedule a date with them. See if you can gather the supporting documents by then.
Go to the center or embassy on time and bring the supporting documents. You might be able to ask or see the list of the requirements on their website.
You also need to submit your fingerprints and a digital photograph to receive the biometric residence permit at the embassy. When you get to the UK, you will get the permit.
When you finish all the procedures, wait until the officials work on your visa. The processing time is different and depends on your case and the country
When the officials decide on your application, they will email you and inform the decision. The email tells you what to do next.
When you arrive in the UK, you should get your Residence permit in ten days.
How long is the sportsperson visa valid for?
The initial validity of a sportsperson visa is three years. You have permission to extend it for another three years as well. However, you may not extend the visa for longer than six years. Then you have to apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain.
What can you do under the sportsperson visa?
The sportsperson visa permits you to:
- Work in a second job
- Work temporarily as a sports broadcaster
- Travel outside of the UK and return
- Do voluntary work
- Play for your national team in the UK
What you can do doesn’t interfere with the job you have got the visa for.
Can you bring your relatives to the UK?
Yes, the sportsperson visa permits you to bring your spouse or law partner and under 18 children to the UK. They have to apply separately, and you must have enough funds to cover their expenses.
Sportsperson visa Fees/Costs
The fee or cost for a sportsperson visa is
£610 if you apply on your own. You have to pay £704 to extend the visa.
The fee for each family member is also £610, and the cost to extend it is £704.
Remember that the following countries benefit from a paid relief:
- Republic of Cyprus
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
Let’s sum up…
You are a sports person and want to work in the UK in your field; you will need a sportsperson visa. It comes under a work visa and allows you to stay in the Uk for up to three years. You can bring your family to the country, study and have a second job as well. When you stay in the country for five years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. It authorizes you to stay in the YK without any time limit.
The article explained who is eligible for a sportsperson visa, requirements, the application process, and FAQs.
To know more about other types of UK visas, go through the menu of the website.
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