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Tier 2 Sportsperson

The Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is part of the Tier 2 Work Permit scheme. It is appropriate for sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level of their sport and who wish to come to the UK on a long-term basis.

Overview

You can apply for a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa if all of the following apply:

  • you’re an elite sportsperson or qualified coach recognised by your sport’s governing body as internationally established at the highest level
  • your sport’s governing body is endorsing your application
  • your employment will develop your sport in the UK at the highest level
  • you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

 

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you’re due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

 

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply. You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

 

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa for up to 3 years.

You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 3 years to a maximum stay of 6 years.

 

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job
  • play for your national team in the UK
  • work as a sports broadcaster
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

You can't:

  • get public funds
  • start or run a business
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor
  • You’ll need to make a new application to the Home Office if you want to do a second job that’s not in the same sector as your main job.

Eligibility

You must:

  • have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your sponsor
  • meet the English requirement

You must also have £945 in savings - this is to prove you can support yourself. You must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply, unless you’re exempt.

 

Saving exemptions

You won’t need to provide proof of funds if you’re in the UK and you have a visa in one of the following categories:

  • Tier 2
  • work permit holder
  • Jewish agency employee
  • ground staff for an overseas airline
  • minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order
  • representative an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation

You won’t need £945 in savings if your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor has stated on your certificate of sponsorship that they’ll certify your maintenance and that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

 

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.

They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, eg how much you’ll be paid.

You’ll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your application form - you can only use it once.

Your certificate of sponsorship is valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to you.

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