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Sporting Visa

If you wish to come to the UK for work as a sportsperson, you can do so for a short period by applying for a Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa (Tier 5). Successful applicants for visas in this category can come to the UK for a period of up to 12 months, and can apply to extend their stay to a total of 24 months.

Our expert team of immigration solicitors can guide you in making an application for a Tier 5 Temporary Worker visa to give you the best chance of success. We offer a seamless service that draws on years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the law to provide better outcomes for talented sportspersons who wish to the UK for work.

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

Coming to the UK for Sports – The Law

There are a number of visa categories that sportspersons can apply to if they wish to come to the UK. Elite players, athletes, and coaching staff may be eligible to apply for a T2 Sportsperson visa, however this visa category comes with a strict set of requirements and applicants must prove that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language.

While similar, the T5 Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa does not impose an English language requirement and may be more suitable for sports players and coaches who only wish to come to the UK for the duration of a limited contract.

Who Can Apply?

This visa category is open to applicants who can establish that they are a ‘Professional Sportsperson’. Their role can be paid or unpaid, but applicants must make a significant contribution to their sport at the highest level, in a professional or semi-professional capacity.

There are many ways to satisfy this criteria, but applicants will generally either provide paid services as an athlete, player, or coach, or represent their region, nation, or national team in international sporting competitions.

Temporary Worker Sporting Visa – Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa as a sportsperson, applicants must:

  • gain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your sport’s Governing Body or the UK Home Office;
  • 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.

Applicants must also not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal. These are factors that the Home Office consider as signs of poor character, and include past prison sentences, association with known criminals, and immigration offences amongst other things.

The Points-Based Criteria

The T5 Creative and Sporting Temporary Worker 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 40 points from the following criteria:

  • Up to 30 points for gaining a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their sport’s relevant Governing Body; and
  • up to 10 points for having the necessary funds to maintain themselves on arrival in the UK.

Unlike the Tier 2 level Sportsperson visa, there is no requirement for Creative and Sporting Temporary Worker visa applicants to display knowledge and proficiency with the English language.  Applicants for visas in this category must still pay the UK’s Healthcare Surcharge.

Gaining Sponsorship

For a Temporary Worker 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.

If you intend to leave and come back to the UK as part of your role, your sponsor will need to issue a multiple entry Certificate of Sponsorship.

Your sponsor can also issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship that covers the entire duration of your stay in the UK, even if you are due to perform at more than one engagement. If you’re working for more than one sponsor, you can request a certificate from each one.

If you are coming to the UK to work in multiple jobs as a sportsperson, there cannot be a gap of more than 14 days between each job.

Temporary Worker Visa Conditions

Successful applicants who gain a Temporary visa can work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship for an initial period of up to 12 months – with the potential to extend their stay for a further 12 months to a maximum total stay of 24 months. 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;
  • work or play for their national team in the UK while it is competing in the British University and College Sport (BUCS) competition;
  • work as a sports broadcaster;
  • travel abroad and return to the UK; and
  • bring an eligible partner and/or children into the UK.

Temporary Sportsperson visa holders are not permitted to:

  • access public funds; or
  • start their own business.


Visa Concession for Short-Term Entry to the UK

You may be able to enter the UK without applying for a visa in advance if you meet the following conditions:

  • you have a valid Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa (T5) Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • are coming to the UK for 3 months or less; and
  • you do not normally need a visa to enter the UK as a visitor.

When entering the UK via this route, you must still meet the criteria for a Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa (T5) and cannot extend your stay while in the country.

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.

temporary Worker Sporting Visa


The Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa replaced the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Creative and Sporting route on 1 December 2020. The two visa categories have many similarities; however, the new Temporary Worker visa applies to both European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who arrived in the UK after 11 pm on 31 December 2020 and non-EEA nationals.

Yes – you can live and work full time in the UK with a Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa provided that you are working in the role described in your Certificate of Sponsorship. You may also be able to take on up to 20 hours of extra work each week, provided that the additional role is the same as your sponsored job, or is on the Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation list.

A Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa will usually be issued for a maximum of up to 12 months, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus up to 28 days – whichever is the shorter.

You may be eligible to extend your Temporary Worker visa for a further 12 months up to a maximum stay of 24 months.

Partners and dependents of a person who holds a UK Temporary Work visa can come to the UK in certain circumstances. The criteria for these 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.