If you are a qualified coach or sportsperson looking to reside in the UK for work purposes, you will need to apply for a UK Sportsperson visa. Latitude Law can offer expert assistance with your case.

Our team of professional immigration solicitors has a strong knowledge of Home Office policies, meaning that we are well-placed to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your visa application to play or coach sport here in the UK.

What is a Sportsperson visa?

A UK Sportsperson visa is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established and whose employment will help to make a significant contribution to the development of their sport in the UK. They must be established at the highest level.

Who is eligible for a Sportsperson Visa?

All migrants in this category must be endorsed by their appropriate sports governing body to confirm that they meet the necessary criteria. The endorsement will confirm that:

  • You are internationally recognised at the highest level for your sport
  • You will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport

Each sport has its own governing body with specific endorsement criteria, and we can assist you to identify the correct body and navigate their endorsement procedures.

How can I apply?

Applicants will need to apply using the government website and fill in the dedicated online form.

For assistance with your application, contact Latitude Law today and we will support you throughout the process to ensure that your application is successful.  Complete our contact form to arrange a call back.

How we can help with your Sportsperson Visa application?

Requirements under worker categories are very prescriptive. It is important to ensure your application is prepared carefully so that small errors do not result in your application being refused.

Our expert solicitors have decades of experience handling UK work visas in all categories, and we will work with you towards a positive outcome. We can support through all stages of this visa route, including:

  • Individual endorsement applications for players and coaches
  • Individual visa applications to confirm the right to live and work in the UK
  • Sponsor licence and endorsement applications for clubs and organisations
  • Ongoing management of the sponsor licence, including the reporting of migrant activity and any changes to sponsor/migrant details
  • Advisory service in relation to existing immigration processes
  • UKVI compliance and right to work checks

Sportsperson visa FAQs

How much does it cost to apply for a Sportsperson Visa?

The Sportsperson visa costs £610 for an overseas application and £704 for an in-country extension or switch. You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

Optional premium services such as priority processing are available at an additional cost.

What documents must I provide during my Sportsperson Visa application?

To apply for a sportsperson visa, you must be able to provide:

  • A valid passport or equivalent travel document
  • Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number
  • Evidence of how you meet the English language requirement
  • Evidence of how you meet the maintenance requirement
  • A letter of endorsement from your sport's governing body

Additional documents may be required depending on the country you will be applying from (or the visa you will be switching from, if applicable), or if your family members are applying with you as your dependants.

A UK club or organisation is looking to sponsor me. What do I need?

To sponsor you as a Sportsperson, the club or organisation will need a sponsor licence. Qualifying organisations are sporting bodies, clubs, event organisers, or another organiser operating or intending to work in the sporting sector. The organisation will need to be endorsed by the relevant sporting body before it can offer sponsorship to you.

Can I extend my visa?

Sportsperson migrants may apply for a visa for up to 3 years, with the option to extend for up to an additional 3 years. Migrants are unable to extend their total stay beyond 6 years but may be eligible to apply for 'indefinite leave to remain' after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.

How long does it take to extend my application?

Processing times will depend on the chosen method of submission. Standard applications can take up to 8 weeks, whereas priority applications can be processed in as little as 24 hours.

Home Office processing times are not guaranteed and are subject to change.

Am I eligible to switch my existing visa to a Sportsperson Visa?

You may switch from your existing visa category to the Sportsperson route from within the UK unless you hold status in any of these categories:

  • Visitor
  • Short-term Student
  • Parent of a child student
  • Seasonal worker
  • Domestic worker in a private household
  • Outside the Immigration Rules

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.