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Tier 2 Sportsperson

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This category (Tier 2 Sportsperson) was designed for top class sportspersons and coaches who have world-wide recognition at the top-level, who also will make noteworthy input into the growth of the sport in which they are involved. It is important to note that applications must be endorsed by the sport's governing body of his/her country of origin.

For the individual to be issued a Certificate of Sponsorship, his/her sponsor will be required to get an endorsement of the application from the suitable body presiding over the sport in which the individual is involved. The endorsement will reaffirm that:

  • The individual has world-wide recognition at the top-level as a player or coach;
  • The individual will make noteworthy input into the growth of the sport at top-level in the United Kingdom;
  • The individual intends to reside in the United Kingdom for the period of time he/she is authorised to stay;
  • The individual's position cannot be occupied by an appropriate resident employee.

The Premium Service of the Home Office (Same Day Visa Service) is available for applications under the Tier 2 Sportsperson category.

Initial Application As Tier 2 Sportsperson

For this individual to be granted a Certificate of Sponsorship, the sponsor would be required to make available for the applicant an endorsement issued by an appropriate body that governs the sporting activity where the application belongs. The endorsement is required to verify that:

  • The applicant individual is truly an internationally recognised player or coach at the highest levels of the sport;
  • The individual will add significantly towards the development of the sporting activity at the highest levels;
  • The individual has the intention to live in the UK for the period of the authorised leave to remain;
  • The applicant's role cannot be filled by a qualified settled worker.

Dealing With Refusals

If your entry clearance application as a Tier 2 sportsperson is rejected, you can contest the Home Office' decision by lodging an admin review. This is basically asking the Entry clearance Manager to kindly review the decision the Entry clearance officer has just made. If there are no valid reasons to ask the Entry Clearance manager to review the decision, it is most likely that the Entry clearance manager will uphold the decision of the entry clearance officer.

If however you still do not feel satisfied and feel that there was an error of judgement; believing that the law was not applied correctly, you may take it a step further by lodging an appeal for Judicial review in the Upper Tribunal. Here, you are simply taking the matter (in this case the refusal decision) to court to challenge the refusal.

If you have reasons to believe that your application has been unfairly refused, please contact our immigration lawyers for a free assessment.

How long it will take to get a Sportsperson visa

When getting a sportsperson visa, it can take up to 3 weeks to get a decision on your application when applying from outside the UK. You are advised to put in your application 3 months before your start date listed on certificate of sponsorship.

Get a faster decision on your extension application

You can pay for a faster decision if you’re applying to extend or switch your visa in the UK, you can pay an extra £500 for the priority service to get a decision within 5 working days.

You can also pay an extra £800 for the super priority service to get a decision:

  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend

When you get your decision letter, your biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to arrive.

Benefits and Restrictions

If you are a holder of the sportsperson visa, there are certain things you can and cannot to do as a sportsperson visa holder.

If you are on a sportsperson visa, you can:

  • work as a sports broadcaster
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • play for your national team in the UK
  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in certain circumstances
  • study if it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible

You cannot:

  • have access to public funds
  • start or run a business
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor

With a Sportsperson visa (T2) you can stay in the UK for up to 3 years, and can for an extension for another 3 years to a maximum stay of 6 years

Sportsperson Visa Requirements

To be eligible for a sportsperson visa, you will need to meet specific requirements needed for this visa route. These include.

  • proven knowledge of the English Language
  • showing your travel history over the last 5 years
  • having tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country
  • personal savings as proof that you can support yourself during your stay in the UK
  • showing your personal savings as proof that you can support yourself during your stay in the UK when putting in your application unless you have been in the UK for at least a year, or your employer can cover your cost in the first month of your stay.
  • a valid certificate of sponsorship: The certificate of sponsorship includes personal details and information of the job offered. The certificate of sponsorship reference number will be given to you by your sponsor and should be added to your application

In a case where your employer can sponsor you, your certificate of sponsorship must confirm this. Your employer will need to complete the ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’ section on your certificate.

Documents Needed for a Sportsperson Visa

It is important to ensure you have all the documents required for a successful visa application. Below is a list of documents needed when applying for a Sportsperson visa.

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number (your employer will give you this)
  • proof of your knowledge of English
  • bank statements to prove you can support yourself in the UK (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you)
  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality - you need a blank page in your passport for your visa
  • expired passports or travel documents to show your travel history
  • tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country
  • if you’re applying as a sportsperson or coach, you will need to submit a letter of endorsement from your sport’s governing body.

Switching Into Tier 2 Sportsperson

Switching into the Tier 2 Sportsperson visa is possible if you are currently holding a valid leave from the one of the following categories:-

Business immigration visa;

  • Work Visa Tier 2 - General, ICT, Minister of Religion and Sportsperson
  • Student visa and dependants
  • Tier 5 Temporary Worker switching into Tier 2 (Sportsperson) only;
  • Highly-skilled Migrant Programme;
  • Innovator;
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme;
  • International Graduates Scheme
  • Sports and Entertainment work visas
  • Jewish Agency Employee;
  • Member of the Operational Ground Staff of an Overseas-owned Airline;
  • Representative of an Overseas Business;

Should you need the service of professional legal advisers to advise you on switching, please do not hesitate to give us a call 020 3744 2797 or drop us an email on and one of our Skilled worker lawyers would contact you as soon as possible.

Our immigration solicitors boast of over 4 decades experience in immigration law; be sure that you will be getting a top-quality service if you choose to instruct us.

Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Extension

For persons who are currently in the United Kingdom as a Tier 2 Sportsperson and are looking to renew their visa in the country, they should ensure to apply for a leave to remain before their current leave expires.

You may apply for extension provided you are still gainfully employed by your sponsor and will continue to be needed by the employer. It is important that your employer evidence by way of a personal statement or a letter that you are still needed on the job.

Please note that you can only extend your leave as a Tier 2 sportsperson if your last and current leave is an entry clearance as a Tier 2 sportsperson. You cannot switch into an extension from another route.

Importantly, you will have to be issued another Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for your extension application. Also, we would normally recommend that the salary on the new CoS is either equal to or above the one which was stated on the preview CoS.

Tier 2 Sportsperson Indefinite Leave To Remain

Persons on a Tier 2 sportsperson visa who have remained on that visa route and have lived in the UK for over 5 years may be eligible for settlement under the same route

As a general rule, you will normally be eligible for an indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom after remaining in the country on one visa route for 5 years. A combination of routes would lead to settlement in 10 years. Note also, that the 10 years route would only be applicable where there was a continuous and legal residence.

Continuous and legal residence refers to periods of breach of immigration rules. In more simple terms, within that 10-year period, you must have always had a valid leave to remain. This is why we mostly advise our clients to never overstay their visa. There is a 28-day period you can take advantage of as well as the 2C and 3C leave. These are there for you not to become an over stayer. Once you have overstayed your visa, chances are that subsequent visa application will almost be automatically rejected

2C and 3C leave mentioned above refers to the process of lodging an application before or at the expiration of your current leave, the application allows you to remain in the UK on the terms of your last leave while the current visa is in process. A practical example is where you have stayed in the UK for 5 years as a student, probably studying something related to sports. Let's say you have now got a job and now making a Tier 2 application, even though your Tier 4 may have expired at the time of your Tier 2 application, the terms and conditions of your Tier 4 will continue to be in place until your new Tier 2 visa is approved.

Given the example above, periods of stay under the Tier 4 visa will not count towards Indefinite Leave to remain as a Tier 2 Sportsperson. This is because ILR in this circumstance is based on you living in the UK for a period of 5 years under the same visa category.

However, if for some reason you do not complete 5 years under this route (on a continuous residence basis), you will then need to wait to complete 10 years (lawful) residence in the UK to be eligible for ILR.

Dependants Of A Tier 2 Sportsperson

The dependant of a Tier 2 Sportsperson includes the migrant's husband/wife, partner (civil, unmarried or same-sex), or child. Be advised that only children under the age of eighteen would be recognised as dependants under this immigration route. However, child dependants who have become 18 in the country whilst under the PBS visa route will still qualify as dependants.

Dependent Of Tier 2 Sportsperson Application From Outside The UK

For entry clearance applications under this route, as a PBS dependant of a Tier 2 Sportsperson, both parties must be first and foremost over eighteen years old as at the date of the application.

Importantly, for child dependant applications under this route, the child must be under 18 years of age as at the date of the initial application. Note that for extension applications under this route, a child dependant may be over the age of 18 and still qualify as a child dependant, provided that they were under 18 as at the time of their entry clearance application.

Switching Into A Dependant Of Tier 2 Sportsperson

Except where an individual is currently on a visit visa, or on temporary admission or release, the immigration rules now allow persons to switch to the PBS Dependant of a Tier 2 Sportsperson in the UK.

Please note that applicants looking to switch into the Point Based System Dependant visa must be at least 18 years as at the time of the application. This however does not apply to child dependants, who have to be under 18 to qualify as dependants in the United Kingdom.

Note also that for children who are dependants over the age of 18 may yet be seen as dependants if they became 18 in the UK while with a valid leave to remain as a PBS Dependant

Extension Of A Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa

If you are currently in the United Kingdom as a dependant of a Tier 2 Migrant, you may be able to renew your PBS dependant visa under the same route in line with your sponsor.

Indefinite Leave To Remain As A Dependant Of Tier 2 Sportsperson

Where an applicant has a valid leave to remain in the UK as a dependant of a Tier 2 sportsperson under the rules in place before 09-07-12, such an applicant would be able to make an ILR application after residing in the country for at least 2 years. A major factor here is that the sponsor must have been granted settlement in the UK or has just lodged an ILR application as a Tier 2 Sportsperson.

For applications under the rules in place after 09-07-12, dependants will have to wait for 5 years as dependants of Tier 2 sportsperson in order to qualify for settlement. Importantly, the main applicant (sponsor) must have either obtained settlement or is just lodging his/her ILR application.


  • If you have made your application as required, at most three months before your entry date into the country; your case should normally be decided upon in three weeks after your application. To know how long it would take to obtain a leave to enter in your country you can click here --> visa processing times.

  • You as a holder of this visa is permitted to sponsor your dependants (children under 18 years of age, or your husband/wife, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner) journey and residence in the country to either join or continue to reside with you in the country.

  • When you successfully stay in the country for up to five years unbroken stay, you will be permitted to apply for permanent residence as a Tier 2 Sportsperson.

  • As an immigration law firm, it is natural that our clientlle are usually foreigners; most of which are based abroad with whom we have met and offered our professional services as well as advice. As a Top Immigration Law firm in the heart of London we are professionally obliged to offer good advice to our clients no matter where they are, ensuring also that they achieve success in their cases.

  • If you application is to be made inside the country, you are required to make use of the FLR (M) form. If your application will be made outside the country, you are to apply online.

  • The action you would take following a rejection of your visa application would depend on why you were initially refused visa. If your refusal is PBS related you may make an application for administrative review and for those related to family you would be given a right to appeal. For you to proceed with the administrative review you have to ensure that new proof are available to support your stand; more so, an appeal can only be done on Human rights grounds.

  • you will be permitted to:

    Take up employment with your sponsor for the job described in the CoS

    Take an additional employment

    Participate in a sports competition for your country of national in the United Kingdom.

    Take an employment as a broadcaster of sports

    Take up charity and unpaid work

    Take up an educational course in as much as your job is not interrupted by it

    Embark on a journey outside the country and return back

    Enter the country along with members of your family

    You are not permitted to:

    Lay claim to funds for public

    Kick start a business venture

    Make an application for another employment in a different sector unlike that contained in your CoS

  • You are actually able to made any visa application by yourself. But we however recommend you seek professional advice before you attempt to do this.

  • You may be permitted to enter the country for up to 3 years as a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa holder. On expiry of the Visa, you may make an application for an extended stay for which you may be granted an additional 3 years.

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