The UK Sportsperson Visa is a UK Work Visa, under the UK Points Based System. It is a visa for foreign sportspersons who wish to move to the UK and are sponsored by someone in the UK.
Who Can Apply for a UK Sportsperson Visa?
You will be able to apply for a UK Sportsperson visa if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You are a non-EEA and non-Swiss national.
- You are an elite sportsperson or qualified coach.
- Your sport’s governing body has recognized you as being at the highest level of your profession internationally.
- Your sport’s governing body is endorsing your application.
- Your employment will develop your sport in the UK at the highest level.
- You meet the other eligibility requirements.
How to Apply for a UK Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?
The application process to get a UK Sportsperson Visa is not complicated, as it may sound. In fact, the application process consists of several steps, which you need to complete. If you follow these steps in the given order, you will have higher chances to get a positive answer on your application.
Below find a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a UK Sportsperson Visa:
- Get a certificate of sponsorship. You should get this certificate from the governing body endorsing your application.
- Fill-in the application form online at the UK Government website.
- Pay the fee for your visa application. You will be able to do that online.
- Take a tuberculosis test. This applies only if you are a resident in a country where you must take the tuberculosis test.
- Provide your biometrics (fingerprints and facial photograph) at a visa application center.
- Provide the embassy/visa application center with the rest of the required documents.
Note that once you are done, you should wait for a reply on your application. If there is a positive decision in your case, you can travel to the UK. You should pick up your biometric residence permit in the UK within 10 days of your intended arrival.
When to Apply for a Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?
You are permitted to apply for a UK Sportsperson visa for a maximum of 3 months prior to your intended trip to the UK. Yet the latest you can apply is three weeks before your date of departure to the UK, due to the visa processing times.
Required Documents for a UK Sportsperson Visa
A very important part of your visa application, is collecting the required documents for a UK Sportsperson Visa. These documents are crucial for a positive response on your application.
The required documents for a UK Sportsperson Visa are as follows:
- Valid Passport. Before you apply, check if your passport has at least one blank page for the visa sticker.
- Certificate of Sponsorship reference number. This electronic document holds your personal details and information on the job you have been offered. Note that you can use you certificate only once.
- Proof of English knowledge. Check here for more information on proof of English knowledge for a UK sportsperson visa.
- Proof that you have enough personal savings. See below!
- Travel history of the past five years. This includes older and expired passports or travel documents.
- Tuberculosis test results. If you are from a country where tuberculosis is common.
- Certified translations in documents that are not in English or Welsh.
Note that depending on your nationality and situation you will have to submit additional documents. Make sure you submit all of them and that they meet the criteria set by the UK authorities.
Proof of Personal Savings
You will need to have at least £945 in your bank account for three months before you apply for a UK visa. You will be exempt from this requirement only if you have a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor who has agreed to give to you at least £945 to cover your costs for your first month in the UK.
Those holding a Tier 2 visa and applying from within the UK are exempt from this requirement as well.
UK Sports Visa Fees
The application fee for a UK Sportsperson Visa is £610. Yet, if you are a national of Turkey and North Macedonia, you need to pay a lower fee of £555.
For every dependent of yours, you will need to pay an additional fee of £610.
Note that when applying to extend your UK Sportsperson Visa or to switch to this visa from another, you will need to pay a fee of £704. On the other hand, if you are a Turkish or North Macedonian applicant you need to pay a lower fee of £649.
The fee for every dependent is £704.
Getting a Quicker Answer on Your Application
If you are in a hurry, you can pay extra money to get a quicker answer on your application to switch to or extend your UK Sportsperson visa.
- If you want an answer within 5 working days, you can pay £500 for the priority service.
- If you want an answer within one working day, you can pay £800 for the super priority service.
UK Sportsperson Visa Processing
The UK authorities take a decision on a UK Sportsperson Visa application within 3 weeks.
UK Sportsperson Visa Validity
A Tier 2 UK Sportsperson Visa is valid for a maximum of three years. Before the expiration of your visa, you can apply for a visa extension for another up to three years. The maximum that you can stay in UK with a Sportsperson Visa is six years.
What Can I Do With a UK Sportsperson Visa?
As a rule, there are specific things that you can do and you cannot do with a UK Sportsperson visa.
The main things you can do in the UK with this visa are:
- Work for your sponsor.
- Take a second job in some certain circumstances, including working as a sports broadcaster, or doing voluntary work. Note that you cannot apply for a second job unless you have started working for your sponsor.
- Play for your national team in the UK.
- Travel abroad and then return to the UK.
- Bring your close family members to the UK.
Yet, there are things that you cannot do, as getting public funds, starting or running a business.
Bring Your Family to UK with a Sportsperson Visa
If you hold a UK Sportsperson Visa, you can apply to bring your family over as your dependents. The following family members qualify:
- your husband, wife or partner
- your child under 18
- your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent
Note that aside of the fees that you will need to pay, you also must show proof that you have an additional £630 for every dependent you want to bring to the UK.