Welcome to WH Solicitors. We are happy to help you.

WH Solicitors

International Sportsperson Visa

The UK is a nation of sports fans, and the Sportsperson (T2) Visa scheme allows elite athletes, players, and coaches to enter and work within the UK. To qualify, applicants must show that they are an elite sportsperson or qualified coach who’s recognised by their sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of their profession internationally.

Successful applicants can stay in the UK for up to 3 years, with the option to extend by a further 3 years to a maximum stay of 6 years. The Sportsperson visa allows you to bring your partner and/or children to the UK if they are eligible.

Our team of specialist immigration solicitors help clients to secure visas across all categories, and are skilled at navigating the UK visa application process for elite sportspersons and coaches. With a discreet and highly professional approach, you can count on years of experience that will give you the best chance of visa entry clearance.


Sportsperson Visa Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a Sportsperson Visa (T2), applicants must:

  • gain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your sport’s Governing Body or the UK Home Office;
  • prove sufficient knowledge of the English language;
  • have enough in savings to support yourself when you arrive in the country;
  • prove you can travel, and show travel history for the past 5 years;
  • provide tuberculosis test results if you are migrating from a country listed in the Immigration Rules;
  • have an eligible qualification in you are switching from a Student visa.

Applicants must also pay the UK’s Healthcare Surcharge in advance, although this will be refunded if their application is refused.


The Points-Based Criteria

The Sportsperson visa uses the UK’s points-based immigration system to apply the above eligibility criteria. For a successful application, applicants to this visa category must score 70 points from the following criteria:

  • Up to 50 points for gaining a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their sport’s relevant Governing Body;
  • up to 10 points for having the necessary funds to maintain themselves on arrival in the UK;
  • up to 10 points for knowledge and proficiency with the English language.


Gaining Sponsorship

For a Sportsperson visa application to be approved, the applicant must gain the backing of their sport’s UK governing body in the form of a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). A huge variety of sports are recognised by the Home Office, including football, rugby, athletics, and various martial arts.

The endorsement you receive will confirm that you:

  • are established as a sportsperson or coach internationally and at the highest level;
  • will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport in the UK;
  • intend to base yourself within the UK for the duration of your visa;
  • your post could not be suitably filled by a settled worker.

A full list of approved Governing Bodies can be found in Appendix M of the Immigration Rules. Applicants can still apply if their sport’s Governing Body is not listed as an appropriate sponsor, but they will need to gain sponsorship from the Home Office itself.


Visa Conditions

Successful applicants who gain a Sportsperson visa are permitted to work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship. They can also:

  • take on a second role of up to 20 hours per week in certain circumstances, if it is in the same profession as their main job or is on the Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation list;
  • do unpaid voluntary work;
  • play for their national team in the UK;
  • study, provided that it does not interfere with the sponsored role;
  • travel abroad and return to the UK; and
  • bring an eligible partner and/or children into the UK.


Sportsperson visa holders are not permitted to:

  • access public funds;
  • start or run a business; or
  • apply for a second job until they have started working for their sponsor.


How We Can Help

At WH Solicitors, we are experts in our field with years of experience in applying for UK visas across all categories.

Our fast, reliable, and discreet service ensures that visa applicants have the strongest chance of success – so they can go on to extend their sporting career with an elite club, team, or organisation within the UK.

For more information, help, and support, contact our team today by calling (+44) 01483 608 786 or by emailing contact@whsolicitors.co.uk.

International Sportsperson Visa


All individuals must prove their right to work in the UK before employment can commence, however, the following individuals do not need any further leave or permission from the Home Office to do so:

  • British Citizens (but not British Overseas Citizens, British National (Overseas) or British Protected Persons)
  • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals resident in the UK by or before 31 December 2020, and who subsequently apply to EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled or settled status by 30 June 2021
  • Non-British nationals with Indefinite Leave to Remain/Settlement in the UK

The following groups are also exempt from UK work visa requirements:

  • Members of the armed forces of Commonwealth or Overseas Territories posted to the UK
  • Overseas government ministers while on official business
  • Officials working for an overseas head of state
  • Diplomats who resided outside of the UK when appointed to their post

All other individuals require a visa to work in the UK, and should not commence employment until the relevant proof of visa status has been given.

From 1 January 2021, the UK launched a new points-based immigration system. The points-based system works by assigning points that reflect various factors, such as a migrant’s professional skills and grasp of the English language.

Under the new system, applicants who wish to come to the UK to work will need to score a minimum of 70 points to qualify for a visa. Some requirements are mandatory and will earn a visa applicant a maximum of 50 points. The remaining 20 points can be made up of Under the new system, applicants who wish to come to the UK to work will need to score a minimum of 70 points to qualify for a visa.

The current criteria for the points-based system are as follows:

CharacteristicsMandatory / TradeablePoints
Offer of a job by an approved sponsorMandatory20
Job at an appropriate skill levelMandatory20
Speaks English at the required levelMandatory10
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)Tradeable0
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)Tradeable10
Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)Tradeable20
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory CommitteeTradeable20
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the jobTradeable10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the jobTradeable20

Following the end of the UK’s Brexit transition period and the freedom of movement with the EU, the rules for EU nationals have changed.

EU Nationals already resident in the UK as at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to submit an application to the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled or settled status. Individuals who fall into this category have the right to work in the UK until 30 June 2021 regardless of whether they have made an application to the scheme or not.

EU Nationals who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020 have no right to work unless, before arrival, they have obtained a visa that permits them to do so. These individuals are not eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Employers will not be required to conduct retrospective checks on existing EU national employees after 30 June 2021. After this time, the same new immigration rules will apply to both EU and non-EU nationals, and so employers who wish to recruit workers from abroad will need to hold a sponsor licence.

Yes, you can apply for entry and leave to remain in the UK as a dependant of a person who holds a UK long-term work visa – including a Sportsperson visa (T2) . The criteria for such applications vary depending on the category of visa held by your family member, spouse, or partner, but you must have a genuine and subsisting relationship with the long-term work visa holder, adequate accommodation, and access to funds to maintain yourself while living in the UK.

The contents of this webpage are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal advice. All information is correct as of the date of publication, and any individual or organisation should be careful to seek qualified advice from a specialist immigration lawyer before acting on any of the topics referenced by this content.