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UK SPORTSPERSON VISA (T2)

UK SPORTSPERSON VISA (T2)

The UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) is for elite sports persons and qualified sports coaches who are recognised as being at the highest level of their sport internationally. You will need to be sponsored on a long-term contract and have been endorsed by an appropriate UK sports governing body.

The UK Sportsperson visa (T2) is a route to settlement and applicants can be joined or accompanied by dependent partners and children.  

If you are a sportsperson or coach sponsored on a short-term contract (up to 12 months) then you should consider applying for a Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting Visa (T5) instead.

Requirements for a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) 

In order to qualify for a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

  • You are aged 16 or over;
  • You have an offer of a job as a sports person from an approved sponsor that holds a Sportsperson (T2) sponsor licence (which requires a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role you wish to undertake);
  • You have been endorsed by an appropriate UK Sports Governing Body;
  • You genuinely intend, and are able, to undertake the role for which you are being sponsored;
  • You satisfy an English language requirement;
  • You have personal savings to support yourself in the UK;
  • Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy may vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our T2 Sportsperson Visa lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

T2 Sportsperson Endorsement by Sports Governing Body Requirement

In order to qualify for a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) you will need to secure an endorsement from an appropriate UK Sports Governing Body.  The relevant UK Sports Governing Body will need to confirm that:

  • You are internationally established at the highest level; and 
  • Your employment will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport at the highest level in the UK

You will need to be endorsed by a relevant UK Sports Governing Body before your sponsor can assign a Certificate of Sponsorship.

T2 Sportsperson Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement

In order to obtain a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) you will need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a Home Office approved sponsor for the job you are applying to undertake in the UK.  Your sponsor will need to hold a valid T2 Sportsperson sponsor licence.

Your sponsor will be a UK-based sporting body, sports club, events organiser or other organiser operating in the sporting sector and will hold a sports sponsor licence.  The organisation will have been endorsed by the relevant, Home Office-approved, sports governing body.   Agents and overseas-based sports clubs and organisations cannot sponsor workers on the T2 Sportsperson route.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship will confirm information such as the details of the job and salary that has been offered to you, that you are qualified to undertake the role and that you have been endorsed by an appropriate UK Sports Governing Body.

You will need to apply for a Sportsperson Visa (T2) within the 3 month period before the start date of your job as stated on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

Financial Requirement for a UK T2 Sportsperson Visa

Unless you have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months or your employer agrees to cover your costs during your first month in the UK (and this is confirmed on your Certificate of Sponsorship) you will need to have at least £1,270 in your bank account, held for at least 28 days, ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Sportsperson Visa (T2) application.

English Language Requirement for a UK T2 Sportsperson Visa

You will need to have English language skills at level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for language in speaking and listening.

Switching into the UK Sportsperson (T2) route

If you currently have leave to remain in another immigration category, you may extend your stay in the UK by switching into the Sportsperson (T2) route unless you have, or were last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-term student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household or outside the Immigration Rules. 

Duration of a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2)

If your application for a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) is successful, you will be permitted to enter and remain in the UK for either the period of employment stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days or 3 years and 1 month, whichever is shorter.

Sports workers can spend up to 6 years on the UK T2 Sportsperson route.  If you apply to stay in the UK as a T2 Sportsperson from within the UK, you will be granted permission to stay in the UK for either the period of employment stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days or 3 years or the difference between 6 years and the period you have already been granted permission on the T2 route, whichever is shorter. 

Conditions of Stay on a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2)

If your Sportsperson Visa (T2) application is successful, you will be permitted to work in the job you have been sponsored for.  Supplementary employment and study will also be permitted.

You may also undertake employment as a sportsperson for your national team while it is in the UK, play in British University and College Sport (BUCS) competitions and accept temporary engagements as a sports broadcaster providing expert guest commentary on a particular sporting event.

Settlement on the T2 Sportsperson Route

T2 Sportspersons can apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK after 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK. 

Time spent in the T2 Sportsperson category can be combined with time spent in the T2 Minister of Religion, Skilled Worker, Tier 1 (other than Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Sole Representative of an Overseas Business, Innovator and Global Talent routes.

You must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period during the 5 year period relied on.

Your sponsor will need to confirm that they still require you to work for them for the foreseeable future and that you are paid at least £35,800 per year.

Unless you are exempt, you will need to demonstrate English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in speaking and listening to at least level B1 and pass the Life in the UK  test.

Dependants of UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) Holders 

T2 Sportspersons may be joined or accompanied by a dependent partner over the age of 18 and/or dependent children under the age of 18. 

As well as providing evidence of relationship, dependents may need to satisfy a financial requirement.  Unless they have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months or the T2 Sportsperson’s employer agrees to cover their costs during their first month in the UK, the T2 Sportsperson – or their partner or child – will need to have £285 for a partner, £315 for one child and £200 for each additional child.  The money will need to have been held for at least 28 days, ending not more than 31 days before the date of their visa application.

In order to qualify for settlement, dependent partners of T2 Sportspersons need to complete 5 years residence in the UK, with absences of no more than 180 days in any 12-month period and, unless exempt, demonstrate English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in speaking and listening to at least level B1 and pass the Life in the UK  test.

UK T2 Sportsperson Visa Processing Times

Most Sportsperson Visa (T2) applications are decided within 3 weeks.  It may be possible to secure a faster decision if the visa application centre offers a priority service.

Most applications to extend stay as a T2 Sportsperson are decided within 8 weeks.

UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) Refusals

If your application for a UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) is refused, you may be able to make a fresh application or apply for Administrative Review.

How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help

Our team of immigration barristers has experience in assisting elite sports persons and qualified sports coaches across a variety of sports.  Our barristers can help you to ensure that you meet your start date and that your career progression will fit your immigration goals.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to sports persons and coaches as part of a professional and friendly service.

We can also assist with

  • Applications for Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting Visas (T5)

    The Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting Visa (T5) is for individuals who have been offered short-term work in the UK for up to 12 months as a creative or sporting worker.

    In order to qualify for a Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting Visa (T5), you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You have an offer of a job as a sports person or creative worker from a sponsor that holds a valid Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting (T5) sponsor licence (which requires a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role you wish to undertake);
    • You genuinely intend, and are able, to undertake the role for which you are being sponsored;
    • You have personal savings to support yourself in the UK;
    • Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal;
    • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for Settlement as a T2 Sportsperson

    In order to qualify for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) as a T2 Sportsperson, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You have completed 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK in the T2 Sportsperson category or in combination with time spent in the T2 Minister of Religion, Skilled Worker, Tier 1 (other than Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), Sole Representative of an Overseas Business, Innovator and Global Talent routes);
    • You have not been outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period during the 5 year period relied on;
    • Your sponsor still requires you to work for them for the foreseeable future;
    • You are paid at least £35,800 per year;
    • Unless exempt, you have demonstrated English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in speaking and listening to at least level B1 and have passed the Life in the UK  test.
  • Fresh applications, Administrative reviews and Judicial reviews for T2 Sportspersons

    If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a T2 Sportsperson has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.

    If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.

    If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.

WHAT CAN WE HELP YOU WITH?

To discuss your UK Sportsperson Visa (T2) application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our T2 Sportsperson Visa lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

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