A tier 2 sportsperson visa is a very specific visa; only suitable for application by a very select group of people. It's also a visa for foreign sportspeople who are intending to stay in the UK for a longer period of time. If the stay will be a year or less, then a tier 5 (Creative and Sporting) visa may be a better option.

Applying for a sportsperson visa through an Oratto member immigration lawyer

Oratto has a number of member immigration lawyers from London and the rest of the UK. Seeking specialist legal advice about your visa application is extremely important in helping to make sure that it is successful and that the visa is gained correctly. You can choose an immigration solicitor for yourself from this page, or submit your all of your details to Oratto and we will find the best solicitor for your needs through our Match function.

Employee eligibility criteria for a sportsperson visa

There are number of criteria to be fulfilled:

  • the applicant must be a qualified coach or elite sportsperson, recognised as internationally established at the highest level by their sport's governing body
  • this same governing body must be endorsing the application
  • the development of the applicant's sport at the highest level must be facilitated by their employment
  • the applicant must be from outside the EEA and Switzerland
  • the applicant must ensure that other eligibility criteria are satisfied, regarding holding a Certificate of Sponsorship, having the funds to support themselves (a minimum of £945) and having the appropriate English language skills

Governing body endorsement

The endorsement of an application by the governing body will confirm that:

  • the coach or player is established at the very highest international level
  • that a significant contribution to the development of the sport will be made by the applicant in the UK
  • there is no suitable, settled worker who could fill the position. A suitable, settled worker will be classed as a national of the EEA or the UK or they are legally settled in the UK and with entitlement to work

Being in the UK

A tier 2 sportsperson visa allows the holder to do certain things while in the UK. These include:

  • bringing qualifying family members with you
  • carrying out a second job
  • working as a sports broadcaster
  • working for your sponsor in the job specified in your Certificate of Sponsorship
  • playing for your national team in the UK in your particular sport
  • carrying out voluntary work
  • travelling abroad and then returning to the UK
  • studying – as long as it does not compromise the job that you are being sponsored to do

While in the UK on a sportsperson visa, holders are not eligible for public funds such as benefits, they cannot start or run a business and cannot apply for a second job before having started working for the sponsor.

How long is it possible to stay in the UK with a tier 2 sportsperson visa?

The initial period of the visa is three years, however holders can also apply for it to be extended for another three years. To do so, they will need a Certificate of Sponsorship for continuing employment during the extension period. A fresh endorsement will also need to be given by the sport's governing body.

Contact an Oratto member immigration lawyer today to answer any questions or to make an application to come to the UK under a tier 2 sportsperson visa