If you are an international sportsperson or qualified coach, you may be eligible for the UK Sportsperson (T2) visa if you will be helping to develop your sport while in the country.
The UK International Sportsperson Visa is aimed at sponsored high-level international sportspeople and coaches who will work to develop their sport in the UK to an elite level.
What is the UK International Sports Visa?
The UK International Sportsperson Visa is aimed at sponsored high-level international sportspeople and coaches who will work to develop their sport in the UK to an elite level. The UK International Sportsman Visa has replaced the Tier 2 Sportsman Visa and the Tier 5 Sportsman and Creative Visas.
You will be eligible for an international sportsperson visa in the UK if you are recognized as an elite sportsperson or coach qualified at the highest international level by your individual sport’s governing body.
UK international sports visas are generally granted initially for a maximum period of 3 years, after which you can extend your stay further as long as you remain eligible. After 5 years as an international sportsperson visa holder, you will be eligible to apply for the ILR.
UK Sports Visa Requirements
To make a successful application, you will need to meet the following UK sports visa requirements:
- be recognized internationally as a player or coach at the highest level of your sport by an approved governing body
- hold a valid UK certificate of sponsorship from an employer with a sponsor licence
- meet financial requirements
- show your travel history for the last 5 years
- meet English language requirements
- be able to provide a clear tuberculosis test result if coming from a listed country
UK Sports Visa applicants must provide a letter of approval from an approved body that regulates sporting activity in their home country. The approval should confirm to the applicant:
- He is truly an internationally recognized player or coach at the highest level of his sport
- will contribute significantly to the development of their sport at the highest level
- The letter should also contain a unique approval number starting with an abbreviated form of the governing body (e.g. RUGU for rugby union).
UK Sports Visa applicants must demonstrate savings of at least £1,270 to support themselves in the UK. The funds must be available in the applicant’s bank account for at least 28 days. This requirement, however, does not apply if you have already been in the UK for 12 months or more. Alternatively, your UK employer can support you by indicating on your certificate of sponsorship the words ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’.
English language requirement
If you intend to spend more than 1 year in the UK on an international sportsperson visa, you will need to meet the English language requirements. You can meet this requirement by having:
- an approved English language qualification at CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening or above or
- a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree taught in English
- You will also meet this requirement if you are from an eligible English-speaking country1.
Documents required for UK International Sports Visa
It is important to ensure that you have all the documents required for an international sportsperson visa application in the UK. Below is a list of documents required when applying for a UK sports visa:
- a letter of approval from your sport’s governing body
- your sponsorship certificate reference number (your employer will provide this to you)
- proof of your knowledge of English
- bank statements to show that you can support yourself in the UK (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows that your employer can support you)
- a valid passport or other document proving your identity and nationality: a blank page in your passport is required to obtain a visa
- Expired passports or travel documents to show travel history
- tuberculosis test results if you are from one of the countries listed
How to apply for an international sportsman visa in the UK
To apply for a UK international sports visa, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Complete and submit the online application form2
- Pay the required registration fee (see below)
- Upload all required documents to support your application (see below)
Book and attend a biometric appointment at your nearest Visa Application Center (VAC) to have your fingerprints scanned and a photo taken
International sports visa applications typically take 3 weeks to process. You may be able to pay an additional fee to have your request processed faster.
International Sportsman Visa Cost in the UK
International sports visa applicants are required to pay the following fees:
- Application fee: £259 for stays under 12 months or £625 for stays over 12 months
- Health Supplement (provides access to the National Health Service – UK NHS) – £624 per year for adults and £470 per year for children
International Sports Visa for ILR
Those who hold an international sports visa and have lived in the UK for more than 5 years may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as UK Settlement. The ILR International Sportsperson Visa requirements state that applicants must:
- Have had an international sports visa for at least 5 years
- Have lived legally in the UK during the 5 years spent in the UK
- Meet the continuous residency requirement – this means they must not have lived outside the UK for more than 180 days in a consecutive year
- Meets English language requirements
- Pass the UK Life test
A person with ILR can live in the UK permanently without being subject to immigration control. They can also work, study and travel freely as stable people. After a further 12 months, a person with ILR can apply for British citizenship.
International Sportsman Visa Extension
As an international sportsman visa holder in the UK, you can apply to further extend your visa for a further 3 years as long as you continue to meet the same eligibility requirements that you met the last time you were granted sports leave. this path. It is essential to apply for an international sportsperson visa renewal before your current visa expires.
To successfully submit an international sportsperson visa extension application, you will need to renew your approval and a new certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
International Sportsman Visa Dependent
If your application for an international sportsperson visa is successful, you will also be able to bring your dependents with you to the UK. You can bring your partner if you are married, in a civil partnership or if you have been in a relationship for at least 2 years.
If your children are 16 or older, you will need to demonstrate that they are dependent on you and are not living an independent life. This means they have to live with you (unless they live far away for study purposes) and you support them financially. They also do not have to be married to be considered dependent.
When you apply for your dependents, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds for their needs:
- £285 for your partner
- £315 for your first child
- £200 for each additional child
It is important to include your visa application number (e.g. global web form or unique application number) on your dependent’s visa applications.