This guidance relates to the UK Tier 2 sportsperson visa 2019 requirements. The Tier 2 sportsperson visa is points-based; therefore, an applicant needs to score seventy points for Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), English Language and Maintenance Funds. The post also provides guidance notes relating to Tier 2 sportsperson visa supporting documents checklist, extension, switching, application fee, processing time etc.
Table of Contents
1. Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK Requirements
The Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is only for an elite sportsperson or coach whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of sport at the highest level in the UK. Therefore, an elite sportsperson or coach can apply for a Tier 2 Visa as a Sportsperson if they fulfil all the following requirements:
- the UK sport’s governing body recognises the elite sportsperson or qualified coach as being at the highest level of the profession internationally
- the UK sport’s governing body endorses the application
- employment is aimed at developing the sport in the UK at the highest level
- the applicant is not EEA or Swiss national
- the applicant meets the other eligibility requirements
Accordingly, a person is likely to get a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa if they:
- have a valid CoS for the job
- meet the English language requirement of at least CEFR Level A-1 in listening and speaking
- have personal savings to support the cost of living in the UK
- can travel and has a travel history over the last 5 years
- have tuberculosis test results if the applicant is from a listed country
2. Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK Points Requirements
For successfully applying for the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, an applicant needs to score seventy points i.e.
- 50 points for an assigned Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
- 10 points for the English Language
- 10 points for Maintenance funds
Please note there are no requirements for the Appropriate Salary.
Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK Certificate of Sponsorship
For scoring fifty points for the CoS, the sponsor needs to obtain an endorsement for the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa applicant you from the appropriate governing body. Moreover, the endorsement needs to confirm that:
- the applicant is internationally established as a player or coach at the highest level
- applicant’s employment will make a significant contribution to the development of the sport at the highest level in the UK
- the applicant will intend to base in the UK for the duration of permission to stay
- a suitable settled worker in the UK cannot fill the vacant post
Accordingly, an applicant needs to provide the endorsement letter issued by the governing body as part of the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa application.
Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK Maintenance Funds Requirements
For Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, the maintenance funds requirements are £945 in a regulated financial institution for at least 90 days. Therefore, an applicant needs to have £3,780 if they are applying with spouse and two children. However, an applicant does not need the evidence of savings if they have a fully approved A-rated sponsor. And the CoS states that the sponsor will give provide £945 for cost of living.
Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK English Language Requirements
An applicant can meet the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa requirements for English Language if they:
- have passed an English language test (CEFR Level B1)
- are a national of a majority English speaking country
- has a degree taught in English (certified by UK NARIC equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree)
- has met requirement in a previous grant of leave or there are transitional arrangements.
Usually, applicants meet Tier 2 Sportsperson visa English Language requirements by passing an approved language test.
Tier 2 Migrant must have 10 points for English language
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3. Documents Required for Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK
An applicant usually needs to furnish the following documents at the UK visa application centre:
- Print out of the online application form
- the CoS reference number
- proof of knowledge of the English language
- a bank or building society statement or letter that shows the applicant has enough personal savings unless the CoS shows the sponsor can support the applicant
- a current passport or travel document with a blank page for affixing the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa vignette
- expired passports or travel documents for past immigration and travel history
- tuberculosis test results if the applicant is from a listed country
- a certified translation of documents, which are not in English or Welsh
- a letter of endorsement from the sport’s governing body
Perhaps, depending on circumstances, an applicant may provide additional documents relating to their credibility and credentials as an elite sportsperson or a coach.
4. Guidance Notes
Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK: Key Points
The UK visa fees for Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is £610/-. Citizens of Turkey or Macedonia is eligible for a £55/- discount. And the application fee does not include the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS). However, the IHS is refundable in case of a refusal. Moreover, an applicant needs to apply online. And needs to attend the appointment at a visa application centre for submitting application and biometrics.
In case of a successful outcome, the UKVI will use the biometrics information (i.e. fingerprints and photograph) of the applicant for issuing the biometric residence permit (BRP) to the applicant. Accordingly, an applicant needs to collect the BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK. Please note applicants from North Korea cannot apply online. And need to download the application form.
An applicant can apply for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa up to 3 months prior to the start work in the UK. The CoS mentions the date on which a migrant can start doing the work in the UK. For instance, if the CoS mentions Feb 2, 2020, as a start date then an applicant can apply as early as Nov 3, 2019.
Moreover, the service standard is to process Tier 2 work visa applications within 10-15 working days. However, a fraction of the applications may take up to thirty working days. The UKVI also offers Tier 2 priority visa service at certain UKVACs to process applications within 1-week.
At times, UKVI may conduct an interview with the applicant. In fact, the need for an interview may arise due to adverse immigration history, past criminal convictions, documents verifications etc.
The maximum duration of Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is either 3 years plus 1 month or the time given on the CoS plus 1 month, whichever is the shortest. However, a migrant on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa can apply for an extension up to 3 years, or the time given in the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, or the time required to take a migrant’s total stay in the UK to a maximum of 6 years, whichever time is shorter.
Conditions of Stay in the UK
A migrant can undertake following activities on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa in the UK:
- work for the sponsor in the job described in the CoS
- do a second job in certain circumstances
- play for their national team in the UK
- work as a sports broadcaster
- do voluntary work
- study if it does not interfere with the sponsored job
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- bring family members to the UK
However, a migrant on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is not eligible for public funds. And cannot start or run a business in the UK. Moreover, cannot apply for a second job until the migrant has started working for the sponsor.
Children born while the migrant is in the UK
Quite clearly, if a migrant on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa has children while the migrant is in the UK then can certainly apply for permission for them to stay. A migrant certainly needs the permission if they want to travel in and out of the UK with the child. Accordingly, the migrant needs to provide a full UK birth certificate to apply for permission.
Indeed, a migrant on a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa can do a second job- without making a new application- up to 20 hours per week in either the same profession as the main job or if the profession is in the shortage list. And can do unpaid voluntary work in the UK.
In certain circumstances, a migrant need to make a new application. However, the migrant cannot apply for a new application until they start working for the first sponsor in the UK. And cannot start work with the second sponsor until the Home Office approves the application. An applicant can make a new Tier 2 Sportsperson visa application online.
And provide supporting documents with the application, including a letter explaining that the migrant wants to change the current permission to stay in the UK. Accordingly, the letter may state the name, date of birth and current CoS reference number. And the date when the current permission to stay in the UK runs out.
For instance, a sportsperson sponsored by a club in the UK does not need to make a new application if they move on loan to another club in the UK. Therefore, the sportsperson can continue their original club’s sponsorship. However, the sportsperson needs to check with both clubs that they have made the requisite arrangements to manage the sponsorship duties.
If the sportsperson is permanently transferred to another club in the UK, or if the play is moving on loan from overseas to a club in the UK, then the sportsperson needs to make a new Tier 2 Sportsperson visa application. Accordingly, the sportsperson will require a new CoS with a new endorsement from the governing body.
5. Leave to Remain
A migrant on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa can extend their stay in the UK if the migrant has a new endorsement by the sport’s governing body and a new CoS reference number. However, a migrant need to apply for an extension before the expiry of the current visa. And can include any dependants who are on their current visa. Perhaps, also including children who have turned 18 during the stay in the UK.
In fact, a migrant can extend a visa for up to 3 year and 14 days. And after this, the migrant on needs to leave the UK. However, a migrant can only apply for Tier 2 Sportsperson visa again if either 12-month have passed and the previous certificate of sponsorship was granted for less than 3 months, or the applicant can show that they will get a gross annual salary of £159,600 or more.
The following types of migrants in the UK can switch to Tier 2 Sportsperson visa before expiry of their current visa:
- PBS Tier 1 visa
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion and Tier 2 General
- Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and the migrant is applying to change sponsor
- PBS Tier 4 student visa – only if the migrant has an eligible qualification or has done at least 12 months of a PhD
- Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Creative and Sporting) for a job as a professional footballer
- Start-up visa
- Innovator visa
- a dependent partner of a Tier 4 visa
- a representative of an overseas business
However, if a migrant is on another type of visa in the UK, then needs to leave the UK before applying for the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa.
Eligible qualification for switching from Tier 4 Visa
Before applying for switching to Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, a migrant on Tier 4 visa needs to have a:
- UK bachelor’s or master’s degree
- postgraduate certificate in education
- professional graduate diploma (PGD) of education
Moreover, a PhD student needs to complete the last 12 months’ study during their most recent stay in the UK. This can be through a licensed Tier 4 sponsor or another visa that allowed the migrant to study.
A migrant on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa can apply online for leave to remain. Quite clearly, the fees for Tier 2 Sportsperson leave to remain (extension and switching) applications from inside the UK is £704/-. Moreover, citizens of Turkey or Macedonia are eligible for a £55/- discount. And the application fee does not include the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS).
The IHS is refundable in case of a refusal. Moreover, for leave to remain applications, an applicant also needs to pay £19.20 for biometrics.
The service standard is to process extension and switching applications within 8 weeks after biometrics. Moreover, applicants can also avail priority and super-priority service for extension and switching applications.
In fact, the priority visa cost an extra £500/. However, it enables the processing of Tier 2 Sportsperson extension and switching application within 5 working days. Moreover, the charges for the super-priority visa service are £800.
The super-priority service enables a decision by the end of the next working day after biometrics. However, if the appointment is on a weekday, then super-priority service enables processing an extension and switching application within 2 working days.
Please note working days are from Monday to Friday and do not include bank holidays. Additionally, the purchase of priority and super-priority service does not influence a decision. And does not guarantee that the UKVI will decide within the stated service standard. Therefore, both priority and super-priority service for extension and switching applications are only for a straightforward application.
Tier 2 Sportsperson Extension Visa Success and Refusal Rate
The immigration statistics provide the details of total eight hundred Tier 2 Sportsperson visa extension decisions during 2008-17. And 770 grants and 30 rejections. Accordingly, the average Tier 2 sportsperson extension refusal rate is 3.75% during the 10 years period.
The Tier 2 sportsperson extension applications refusal rate was highest (9.65%) in 2010. However, afterwards the refusal rate gradually came down to touch its lowest ebb (1.05%) in 2014.
|Year||Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Extension Refusal Rate|
|Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Extension Refusal Rate||3.75%|