This guidance relates to the UK Tier 2 sportsperson visa 2019 requirements and faqs. In fact, the Tier 2 sportsperson visa is points-based, therefore, an applicant needs to score 70 points. Accordingly, the post covers the details of scoring points for Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), English language and maintenance funds. And the post also tries to answer faqs relating to Tier 2 sportsperson visa such as supporting documents checklist, extension, switching, application fee, processing time etc.

Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Requirements and Guidance 2020

Indeed, 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 he/she fulfils all the following requirements:

  1. the UK sport’s governing body recognises the elite sportsperson or qualified coach as being at the highest level of the profession internationally
  2. the UK sport’s governing body endorses the application
  3. employment is aimed at developing the sport in the UK at the highest level
  4. the applicant is not EEA or Swiss national
  5. the applicant meets the other Tier 2 Sportsperson visa eligibility requirements

Accordingly, a person is likely to get a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa if he/she:

  1. has a valid CoS for the job
  2. meets the English language requirement of at least CEFR Level A-1 in listening and speaking
  3. has personal savings to support the cost of living in the UK
  4. can travel and has a travel history over the last 5 years
  5. has tuberculosis test results if the applicant is from a listed country

Points

For successfully applying for the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, an applicant needs to score 70 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 for Tier 2 Sportsperson visa there is no requirement for the Appropriate Salary.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) - 50 Points

Perhaps, for scoring 50 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:

  1. the applicant is internationally established as a player or coach at the highest level
  2. applicant’s employment will make a significant contribution to the development of the sport at the highest level in the UK
  3. the applicant will intend to base in the UK for the duration of permission to stay
  4. 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.

When a footballer does not need to make a new application?

Quite clearly, a football player sponsored by a club in the UK does not need to make a new application if he/she moves on loan to another club in the UK. Therefore, the footballer can continue his/her original club’s sponsorship. However, the football player needs to check with both clubs that they have made the requisite arrangements to manage the sponsorship duties.

When a football player needs to make a new application?

In fact, if the football player is permanently transferred to another football club in the UK, or if the play is moving on loan from a club overseas to a club in the UK, then the player needs to make a new Tier 2 Sportsperson visa application. Accordingly, the player will require a new CoS with a new endorsement from the governing body.

Application Fees

Apparently, from March 29, 2019, the UK visa fees for Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is £610/-. Perhaps, citizens of Turkey or Macedonia are 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 for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa. And also needs to attend the appointment at a visa application centre for submitting application and biometrics. Perhaps, 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.

Family Members

Indeed, the dependant family members can come to the UK with the Tier 2 Sportsperson. Quite clearly, family members need to have a Tier 2 dependant visa if they are not EEA or Swiss nationals. Moreover, in terms of the PBS Tier 2 policy and immigration rules, a Tier 2 Sportsperson dependant family member is a spouse or partner of the main applicant. And also children under 18 years of age. However, children over 18 can also apply if the are already in the UK on a Tier 2 dependant visa. However, each dependant family member applying for a Tier 2 Sportsperson dependant needs to have £630 funds in a regulated financial institution for at least 90 days to support the cost of living in the UK.

For instance, a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa applicant needs to have £2,835 if he/she wants to bring his/her spouse/partner and two children to the UK i.e. £945 to support him/herself plus £630 for the spouse/partner and £1,260 for the 2 children. However, a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa applicant does not need the evidence of savings for him/herself and dependant family member if he/she has a fully approved A-rated sponsor. And the CoS states that the sponsor will give each of the dependants at least £630 to cover the costs for a month.

Supporting Documents

Perhaps, an applicant usually needs to furnish the following documents at the UK visa application centre:

  1. Print out of the online application form
  2. the CoS reference number
  3. proof of knowledge of the English language
  4. 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
  5. a current passport or travel document with a blank page for affixing the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa vignette
  6. expired passports or travel documents for past immigration and travel history
  7. tuberculosis test results if the applicant is from a listed country
  8. a certified translation of documents, which are not in English or Welsh
  9. a letter of endorsement from the sport’s governing body

Perhaps, depending on circumstances, an applicant may provide additional documents relating to his/her credibility and credentials as an elite sportsperson or a coach.

Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Processing Time

In fact, an applicant can apply for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa up to 3 months prior to the start work in the UK. Apparently, 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 30 working days. Perhaps, the UKVI also offers Tier 2 priority visa service at certain UKVACs to process applications within 1-week.

Interview

Perhaps, 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.

Max Duration

Apparently, 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.

Permitted Activities

Evidently, a migrant can undertake following activities on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa in the UK:

  1. work for the sponsor in the job described in the CoS
  2. do a second job in certain circumstances
  3. play for his/her national team in the UK
  4. work as a sports broadcaster
  5. do voluntary work
  6. study as long as it does not interfere with the sponsored job
  7. travel abroad and return to the UK
  8. 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 have children while the migrant is in the UK then can certainly apply for permission for them to stay. Perhaps, a migrant certainly needs the permission if he/she wants 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.

Second Job

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 also can do unpaid voluntary work in the UK.

New Application

Perhaps in certain circumstances, a migrant needs to make a new application. However, the migrant can not apply for a new application until he/she starts working for the first sponsor in the UK. And also can not start work with the second sponsor until the Home Office approves the application. Apparently, 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 also the date when the current permission to stay in the UK runs out.

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Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Extension

Perhaps, a migrant on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa can extend his/her 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 needs to apply for an extension before the expiry of the current visa. And can include any dependants who are on his/her current visa. Perhaps, also including children who have turned 18 during the stay in the UK.

In fact, a migrant can extend a Tier 2 Sportsperson 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 months have passed and the previous certificate of sponsorship was granted for less than 3 months or the applicant can show that he/she will get a gross annual salary of £159,600 or more. 

Switching

Indeed, the following types of migrants in the UK can switch to Tier 2 Sportsperson visa before expiry of their current visa:

  1. PBS Tier 1 visa
  2. Tier 2 Minister of Religion and Tier 2 General
  3. Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and the migrant is applying to change sponsor
  4. PBS Tier 4 visa – only if the migrant has an eligible qualification or has done at least 12 months of a PhD
  5. Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Creative and Sporting) for a job as a professional footballer
  6. Start-up visa
  7. Innovator visa
  8. a dependent partner of a Tier 4 visa
  9. 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

Apparently, before applying for switching to Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, a migrant on Tier 4 visa needs to have a:

  1. UK bachelors or masters degree
  2. postgraduate certificate in education
  3. professional graduate diploma (PGD) of education

Moreover, a PhD student needs to complete the last 12 months’ study during his/her most recent stay in the UK. Perhaps, this can be through a licensed Tier 4 sponsor or another visa that allowed the migrant to study.

Application Fees

Apparently, a migrant on Tier 2 Sportsperson visa can apply online for leave to remain. Quite clearly, the Home Office 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). However, 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.

Tier 2 Sportsperson visa extension timeline

Perhaps, 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 is £800. Perhaps, 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 also does not guarantee that the UKVI will make a decision 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 Visa Statistics 2008-2017

The immigration statistics provide that details of total 800 Tier 2 Sportsperson visa extension decisions during 2008-17. And also 770 grants and 30 rejections. Accordingly, the average Tier 2 sportsperson extension refusal rate is 3.75% during the 10 years period. Apparently, 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.

Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Refusal Rate 2008-17
Year Decisions Refusal Rate
2008 Nil N/A
2009 85 5.88%
2010 114 9.65%
2011 97 3.09%
2012 103 3.88%
2013 106 2.83%
2014 95 1.05%
2015 92 1.09%
2016 108 1.85%
2017 104 3.85%
Total 800 3.75%

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