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What is the Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

The Tier 2 Sportsperson visa category is for elite sportspersons and qualified coaches, who are recognised by their sports governing body as being at the highest level of their profession internationally.  You will need to be endorsed by your sport’s governing body before applying for a visa.

What are the main eligibility requirements for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa?

In order to qualify for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are an elite sportsperson or qualified coach;
  • You have a job offer in the UK from an employer that holds a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence;
  • Your application is endorsed by your sport’s appropriate governing body, as recognised by the Home Office. The governing body should confirm to the Home Office that:
    • You are internationally established as a player or coach at the highest level;
    • You will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport at the highest level in the UK;
    • You intend to be based in the UK for the duration of your stay; and
    • It is suitable to fill the post with a migrant and not someone who is already settled in the UK.
  • You have knowledge of English to the CEFR Level A1 (speaking and listening);
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds.

The Home Office maintain a list of sporting bodies who can endorse applications for UK Sports Visas e.g. the Football Association, the England Wales Cricket Board and the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. There are around 60 endorsing bodies covering a wide range of sports. Each endorsing body has its own set of criteria.

How long can I stay in the UK on a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa?

If your application for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is approved then your first visa can be valid for a maximum period of 3 years. Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany you as your dependants.

Can I extend a Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

If you already hold a Tier 2 Sports Visa you can apply to extend your stay for up to another 3 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.

Can I settle in the UK on a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa?

You can settle permanently in the UK after being in the Tier 2 Sportsperson category for five years, and if you have been in the UK in certain other immigration categories you may be able to combine the time spent to count towards settlement.

What conditions apply to a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa?

You must work for your sponsor in the job described in your CoS. You may do a second job, play for your national team in the UK, temporarily work as a sports broadcaster, do voluntary work and study, as long as this does not interfere with the job that you have been sponsored for.

Contact our Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Lawyers

For expert advice and assistance regarding an application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as a Tier 2 Sportsperson, contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form below.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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