Top level athletes and coaches who are looking to come to UK to work in a way that will help their sport’s development need a valid Tier 2 Sportsperson visa. But what do you need to know before applying for such a visa?
There are a variety of requirements that need to be adhered to when making an application within the category of a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa. These are:
- You are a top level sportsperson or coach, internationally recognised and recognised by your sport’s governing body at the highest level of your profession.
- Your visa application must be endorsed by your sport’s governing body in the UK.
- Your sport will develop at the highest level in UK with your employment in UK.
- You are from outside the EEA.
Apart from these criteria, you also need to meet other eligibility requirements as well, such as:
- Possess a valid certificate of sponsorship for your job in the UK
- Prove your knowledge of English
- You need to have your own savings so that you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK
- You need to show that you can travel along with your travel history over the last 5 years.
As mentioned, you need to have a certain amount of savings in order to support yourself. The amount that you must have in your bank account is £945, and this must remain in your order for at least 90 days before your date of application. However, you will be exempted from this amount if you have a fully approved A-rated sponsor who can give you a minimum £945; this must be confirmed by your sponsor on the certificate of sponsorship.
For different sports categories, a different governing body can sponsor you by endorsing your Tier 2 sportsperson visa application. Your sponsor will assign you a certificate of sponsorship which proves that they are sponsoring you. Without a certificate of sponsorship from a governing body in UK, you cannot apply for the visa.
How long will it take?
The time to apply for a visa is up to 3 months before the day you’re due to start work in the UK. You can see this date listed on your certificate of sponsorship. Generally, you would get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.
Length of stay in UK
With a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa, you can come to UK for 3 years. After this, you can apply to extend your visa to stay another 3 years (making a maximum 6 years in UK).
Things you can and cannot do
There are a variety of activities you can do in UK when you are on Tier 2 sportsperson UK visa, such as:
- You can work for your sponsor; the job that you can do will be described in your certificate of sponsorship.
- You can do a second job in certain circumstances.
- You can play for your national team in the UK.
- You can work as a sports broadcaster in UK.
- You can do voluntary work.
- You can study provided it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for.
- You can travel abroad and return to the UK.
- You can bring family members to UK with you.
However, there are restrictions – certain activities that you are now allowed to do, such as:
- You cannot get public fund to support yourself.
- You cannot start or run a business.
- You cannot apply for a second job until you start working for your sponsor.
You also need to pay a fee amount while applying for the visa. The fee amount depends on your situation, where you currently live and how you are applying. Along with this you also need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge as part of your visa application.