The Tier 2 Sportsperson category is part of the UK’s Points Based System (PBS) and is for elite sportspeople or coaches who will make a ‘significant’ contribution to the development of their sport in the UK.
A sportsperson must be sponsored by an organisation which has a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.
RLegal will guide you through the complex evidential requirements and assist you with your application from start to finish. We have over 20 years experience of lodging successful applications in this and similar categories. We will take the worry out of the process and give you peace of mind.
Alternatively click on the links below for frequently asked questions.
You will need to show that:
- you hold a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed employer;
- you can satisfy minimum English language requirements; and
- you are capable of maintaining yourself in the UK according to a set criteria.
An employer can only issue a COS for sportsperson who has been endorsed by a listed governing body who will confirm the applicant is:
- an ‘internationally’ established player or coach of the highest level;
- will make a significant contribution to their sport;
- will be based in the UK whilst holding the visa; and
- the post available could not be filled by a ‘settled’ worker.
You must be at least 16 years of age.
Only Tier 2 General, Sportspersons or Ministers of Religion need to satisfy the English language requirement.
You will need to show that you have a good command of the English language.
This can be done by:
being a national of a specified English speaking country;
holding a degree which was taught in English; or
passing an approved English language test at CEFR level B1 in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening). This is equivalent to a score of 4.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can support themselves and any dependants financially for the entire duration of their stay in the UK without recourse to public funds.
In order to show this they must provide evidence of a consistent level of cash funds for a 90-day period. The maintenance thresholds are: £945 for a single applicant plus an additional £630 for each dependant.
Applicants for a Tier 2 Sportsman visa must pay an 'NHS surcharge' of £200 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.
Outside the UK
Applicants not presently in the UK must apply for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa to enter the UK in the correct capacity. The application should be lodged at the nearest British overseas post authorised to deal with such matters. The process involves submission of an online application and original specified evidence and attendance at a biometric appointment.
Applicants from certain specified countries may be required to undertake a tuberculosis test. Processing times vary enormously between countries and can be from 1-6 weeks or more.
Inside the UK
For those already in the UK in Tiers 1, 2 or 4 it is possible to apply direct to the Home Office via either the postal system or premium same day service. A super premium service is also available where the Home Office will visit a location of your choosing to take your biometric data. The process involves submission of an application with specified evidence and attendance at a biometric appointment.
Premium and super premium applications are processed in 1 day. Postal applications vary but are typically between 4-12 weeks.
Investor applications are prioritised by the Home Office.
Outside the UK
Some (but not all) British visa application centres around the world offer a ‘Priority Settlement Service’. This is an additional cost service that will place your application at the front of the processing queue. Use of this service may speed up the processing time for your application, however, the Home Office do not guarantee expedited treatment.
Inside the UK
Postal application £651
Priority application £1051
Premium application £1001
A Tier 2 Sportsperson cannot stay in the UK beyond 6 years and will not be able to return for at least 12 months after they have remained in the UK for 6 years. The caveat to this is if the applicant is in receipt of a salary of more than £153,500 gross.
Applicants must pay an 'NHS surcharge' of £200 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.
A Tier 2 Sportspeople can be accompanied by their spouse/civil partner/long term partner and children under the age of 18 to the UK.
Each dependant must pay an 'NHS surcharge' of £200 per year in advance for each whole or part year of the visa.
Dependants will be granted permission to stay in the UK in line with the main applicant.
Once a Sportsperson has completed 5 years continuous lawful stay in this category, they can apply for settlement provided that they are still required for the employment in question.
From 6 July 2016, a person applying for indefinite leave to remain must earn £35,000 or more.
- Comprehensive legal advice
- Ensuring your application meets the legal requirements
- Assistance with compiling the evidence required for this category
- Completion and submission of all forms
- Booking a biometric appointment
- Ongoing liaison with the authorities where possible.