Immigration Specialists London

Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK Guidance and Requirements

Navigate the requirements of the Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK, a points-based visa tailored for professional athletes and coaches. Applicants must accrue seventy points, fulfilling criteria related to a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), English Language proficiency, and Maintenance Funds. This guide offers a detailed overview of the necessary supporting documents, extension and switching processes, application fees, and processing times, providing a comprehensive understanding of the Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa application. Please note, Tier 2 Sportsperson visa has been replaced by International Sportsperson Visa UK


Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK 2020 Tips & Expert Guidance

1. Eligibility Requirements


The Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is designed for elite sportspersons or coaches whose employment will significantly contribute to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, applicants must meet specific requirements and score points based on certain criteria.

Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK: Eligibility Requirements

  1. Recognition and Endorsement
    • The UK sport’s governing body must recognize the applicant as being at the highest level of their profession internationally.
    • The governing body must endorse the application.
    • Employment must be aimed at developing the sport in the UK at the highest level.
  2. Nationality and Eligibility
  3. Other Requirements
    • English Language: Meet the English language requirement of at least CEFR Level A-1 in listening and speaking.
    • Personal Savings: Have sufficient personal savings to support the cost of living in the UK.
    • Travel History: Be able to travel and have a travel history over the last five years.
    • Health Checks: Have tuberculosis test results if coming from a listed country.

Points Requirements for Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK

To successfully apply for the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, applicants need to score 70 points, broken down as follows:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): 50 points
    • The sponsor must obtain an endorsement from the appropriate governing body, confirming the applicant’s status as internationally established in their field, and their employment will significantly contribute to the sport’s development in the UK.
  • English Language: 10 points
    • The applicant must meet the English language requirement by passing an approved test, being a national of a majority English-speaking country, or holding a degree taught in English (certified by UK NARIC).
  • Maintenance Funds: 10 points
    • The applicant must have at least £945 in a regulated financial institution for 90 days.
    • If applying with dependents, they must have £3,780. If the applicant has a fully approved A-rated sponsor, they do not need to provide evidence of savings if the sponsor guarantees the funds.

Summary

By understanding and meeting these requirements and scoring the necessary points, elite sportspersons and coaches can successfully apply for the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, which allows them to work and contribute to their sport at the highest level in the UK.

Tier 2 Migrant must have 10 points for English language

Appendix B

2. Supporting Documents


When applying for the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, applicants need to furnish several documents to the UK visa application centre. These documents help verify the applicant’s eligibility and support their application.

Required Documents for Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK

  1. Online Application Form
  2. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
    • The CoS reference number provided by your sponsor.
  3. Proof of English Language Proficiency
    • Evidence of meeting the English language requirements, such as an English language test certificate, proof of a degree taught in English, or being a national of a majority English-speaking country.
  4. Financial Support Evidence
    • A statement or letter from a bank or building society showing sufficient personal savings, unless the CoS indicates that the sponsor will provide financial support.
  5. Current Passport or Travel Document
    • A valid passport or travel document with at least one blank page for the visa vignette.
  6. Previous Passports or Travel Documents
    • Expired passports or travel documents to provide past immigration and travel history.
  7. Tuberculosis Test Results
    • Required if the applicant is from a country where TB testing is mandatory.
  8. Certified Translations
    • Translations of any documents not in English or Welsh, certified by a qualified translator.
  9. Endorsement Letter
    • A letter of endorsement from the relevant sport’s governing body confirming the applicant’s eligibility and status as an elite sportsperson or coach.

Additional Documents

Depending on individual circumstances, applicants may also need to provide additional documents to support their credibility and credentials as an elite sportsperson or coach. This could include:

  • Evidence of Achievements
    • Certificates, awards, or recognition relevant to the applicant’s sport.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Endorsements from recognized bodies or individuals within the sport.

Providing a comprehensive and well-documented application can significantly enhance the chances of obtaining a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, allowing the applicant to contribute to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK.

3. Guidance Notes


Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa UK: Key Points

Application Fees

  • Fee: £610
    • Discount: Citizens of Turkey or Macedonia receive a £55 discount.
    • Additional Costs: Immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS) not included in the application fee but refundable if the application is refused.
  • Application Process:
    • Apply online.
    • Attend a visa application centre for submitting the application and biometrics.
  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP):
    • Biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) are used to issue the BRP.
    • Collect the BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK.

Processing Time

  • Application Window: Up to 3 months before the start date of work in the UK.
    • The start date is specified in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
  • Standard Processing Time: 10-15 working days.

Interview

Maximum Duration

  • Initial Visa: 3 years plus 1 month, or the duration specified in the CoS plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.
  • Extensions: Up to 3 years, or as needed to total a maximum stay of 6 years.

Conditions of Stay

  • Permitted Activities:
    • Work for the sponsor in the job described in the CoS.
    • Do a second job under certain conditions.
    • Play for the 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.
  • Restrictions:
    • Not eligible for public funds.
    • Cannot start or run a business.
    • Cannot apply for a second job until starting work for the first sponsor.

Children Born While in the UK

  • Permission Required: Apply for permission for children born in the UK to stay.
    • Needed for travel in and out of the UK with the child.
    • Provide a full UK birth certificate for permission.

Second Job

  • Eligibility: Up to 20 hours per week in the same profession as the main job or a profession on the shortage list.
    • Can also do unpaid voluntary work.

New Application

  • Circumstances: A new application may be needed if changing jobs or employers.
    • Cannot apply for a new visa until starting work for the first sponsor.
    • Must get Home Office approval before starting work with the second sponsor.
  • Supporting Documents: Include a letter explaining the change, name, date of birth, current CoS reference number, and the date current permission runs out.
  • Transfers:
    • Loans: No new application needed if moving on loan to another UK club; original sponsor continues.
    • Permanent Transfers: New application required for permanent transfers or loans from overseas, including a new CoS and governing body endorsement.

4. Extension and Switching


Extension of Stay

A migrant on a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa can extend their stay in the UK if they have a new endorsement from the sport’s governing body and a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number. The extension application must be submitted before the current visa expires and can include dependants on the current visa, including children who have turned 18 during the stay.

  • Extension Duration: Up to 3 years and 14 days.
  • Subsequent Applications: After this period, the migrant must leave the UK. They can reapply for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa if:
    • 12 months have passed, and the previous CoS was granted for less than 3 months.
    • They can show a gross annual salary of £159,600 or more.

Switching to Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa

Certain migrants in the UK can switch to a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa before their current visa expires, including:

  • PBS Tier 1 visa holders
  • Tier 2 Minister of Religion and Tier 2 General visa holders
  • Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa holders (under rules before April 6, 2010)
  • PBS Tier 4 student visa holders with an eligible qualification or at least 12 months of a PhD
  • Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Creative and Sporting) for professional footballers
  • Start-up visa holders
  • Innovator visa holders
  • Dependent partners of a Tier 4 visa holder
  • Representatives of an overseas business

Other visa holders must leave the UK before applying for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa.

Eligible Qualifications for Switching from Tier 4 Visa

Migrants on a Tier 4 visa must have one of the following qualifications to switch to a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa:

  • UK bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • Postgraduate certificate in education
  • Professional graduate diploma of education

PhD students must have completed the final 12 months of their studies in the UK under a licensed Tier 4 sponsor or another visa type permitting study.

Visa Application Fees

  • Fee: £704 for extension and switching applications within the UK.
    • Discount: £55 for citizens of Turkey or Macedonia.
  • Additional Charges: Immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS) and a £19.20 fee for biometrics. The IHS is refundable if the application is refused.

Timelines

  • Standard Processing: Within 8 weeks after biometrics.
  • Priority Service: Extra £500 for processing within 5 working days.
  • Super-Priority Service: Extra £1,000 for a decision by the end of the next working day after biometrics.

Priority and super-priority services are available for straightforward applications and do not guarantee a decision within the stated timeframe.

Extension Visa Success and Refusal Rates

  • 2008: N/A
  • 2009: 5.88%
  • 2010: 9.65%
  • 2011: 3.09%
  • 2012: 3.88%
  • 2013: 2.83%
  • 2014: 1.05%
  • 2015: 1.09%
  • 2016: 1.85%
  • 2017: 3.85%
  • Average Refusal Rate (2008-2017): 3.75%

Understanding these key points can help ensure a successful application process for extending or switching to a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa in the UK.

5. FAQs: Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa


  1. What is the Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

    The Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa is for elite sportspersons or coaches whose employment will significantly contribute to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK.

  2. Who is eligible for the Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

    To be eligible, you must be recognized by the UK sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of your profession internationally. You must have a job offer and endorsement from the relevant sport’s governing body, not be an EEA or Swiss national, and meet the English language and personal savings requirements.

  3. What documents are required for the Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa application?

    You will need to provide a printed copy of the completed online application form, your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number, proof of English language proficiency, evidence of personal savings, a current passport or travel document with at least one blank page, expired passports or travel documents for past immigration history, tuberculosis test results if applicable, certified translations of any documents not in English or Welsh, and an endorsement letter from the sport’s governing body.

  4. What are the fees for the Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

    The application fee is £610. Citizens of Turkey or Macedonia are eligible for a £55 discount. This fee does not include the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS), which is refundable if the application is refused. There is also a £19.20 fee for biometrics.

  5. How long does the application process take?

    You can apply up to 3 months before the start date of your job. The standard processing time is 10-15 working days, although some applications can take up to 30 working days. Priority and super-priority services are available for faster processing.

  6. Can I extend my Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

    Yes, you can extend your visa for up to 3 years and 14 days if you have a new endorsement and a new CoS. Extensions must be applied for before your current visa expires.

  7. Can I switch to a Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa from another visa type?

    Certain visa holders, such as PBS Tier 1, Tier 2 Minister of Religion, Tier 4 student with an eligible qualification, and others can switch to a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa without leaving the UK. Other visa holders must leave the UK before applying for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa.

  8. What are the conditions of stay on a Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

    You can work for your sponsor in the job described in your CoS, do a second job in certain circumstances, play for your national team in the UK, work as a sports broadcaster, do voluntary work, study if it doesn’t interfere with your sponsored job, travel abroad and return to the UK, and bring family members to the UK. However, you cannot access public funds or start or run a business.

  9. Can I apply for a second job on a Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

    Yes, you can do a second job for up to 20 hours per week in either the same profession as your main job or if the profession is on the shortage list. You can also do unpaid voluntary work.

  10. What should I do if I have a child while in the UK on a Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa?

    You can apply for permission for your child to stay in the UK. You will need to provide a full UK birth certificate and apply for permission if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.

  11. What happens if my application is refused?

    If your application is refused, you can reapply, addressing the reasons for refusal. Ensure all documents and requirements are thoroughly met. The immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS) will be refunded if your application is refused.