Sportsperson Visa

The International Sportsperson visa caters to elite athletes and qualified coaches. Applicants must secure endorsement from their sport’s governing body, demonstrating international recognition and a commitment to enhancing the sport in the UK. This visa permits a duration of up to 3 years, with options for extensions. It allows visa holders to work for their sponsoring employer, engage in voluntary work, and pursue studies that do not conflict with their sponsored job. Family members can accompany them as dependents, with exemptions for Irish citizens and those eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme.


To qualify for the International Sportsperson visa, applicants need:
  • A valid certificate of sponsorship.
  • English language proficiency for stays exceeding 12 months.
  • Sufficient personal savings (minimum £1,270) maintained for 28 consecutive days.
  • Evidence of travel history.
  • Tuberculosis test results if applicable.
  • Compliance with UK regulations regarding pay and working hours by their employer. The certificate of sponsorship, detailing job specifics, is essential and valid for three months.

Knowledge of English 

For stays exceeding 12 months, applicants may need to demonstrate English proficiency. This requirement can be fulfilled by passing an approved English test at CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening or holding an English-taught academic qualification equivalent to a UK degree. Nationals of certain countries, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, and others, are exempt. Further exceptions are outlined in the comprehensive visa guidance.

Required Documentation

When applying for the International Sportsperson visa, gather these documents: 

  • Certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • Proof of English proficiency for stays exceeding 12 months (if required)
  • Evidence of sufficient personal savings or support from the employer
  • Valid passport or identity document 
  • Expired passports to validate travel history 
  • Tuberculosis test results if applicable 
  • Endorsement letter from the sport’s governing body
  • Certified translations if documents aren’t in English/Welsh

Employment Flexibility

Under the International Sportsperson visa, visa holders can take on a second job for up to 20 hours per week. This job must align with their main profession or fall under a shortage occupation listed for Skilled Workers. Voluntary work is also permitted. If seeking a job that doesn’t meet these criteria, applicants must apply for a new visa, necessitating sponsorship from the new employer and a fresh certificate of sponsorship. This application can only commence after starting work with the initial sponsor.

Contact us 

For further information or assistance, please feel free to reach out to us at contact us.  

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