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Switching Into Tier 2 Sportsperson

The Tier 2 (Sportsperson) category is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level and will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport. Your application will need to be endorsed by your sport's governing body.

In order for a Certificate of Sponsorship to be issued, your sponsor will need to have obtained an endorsement for you from the appropriate governing body for your sport. The endorsement will confirm that:

  • you are internationally established as a player or coach at the highest level, and

  • you will make a significant contribution to the development of your sport at the highest level in the UK; and

  • you intend to be based in the UK for the duration of your permission to stay; and

  • your post could not be filled by a suitable settled worker.

You can apply from inside the UK if you have, or were last granted, leave in one of the categories listed in the table below:

  • Any Tier 1 category;

  • Tier 2 (General);

  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer: Established Staff) if you are applying to change sponsor;

  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer), under the rules in place before 6 April 2010 if you are applying to change sponsor;

  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson);

  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion);

  • Tier 4 (General) student3;

  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) in the Creative and Sporting sub-category, for a job as a professional footballer switching into Tier 2 (Sportsperson)only;

  • Dependant partner of a Tier 4 student;

  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme;

  • Innovator;

  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme;

  • International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme);

  • Business and Commercial work permits (except multiple entry work permits) including Intra-Company Transfer work permits;

  • Sports and Entertainment work permits (except multiple entry work permits);

  • Jewish Agency Employee;

  • Member of the Operational Ground Staff of an Overseas-owned Airline;

  • Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order;

  • Overseas Qualified Nurse or Midwife;

  • Person Writing Up a Thesis;

  • Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist;

  • Representative of an Overseas Business;

  • Representative of an Overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting Organisation;

  • Student;

  • Student Nurse;

  • Student Re-Sitting an Examination;

  • Student Union Sabbatical Officer.

If you would like to apply for a Tier 2 visa as a sportsperson or if you are a sport's organisation, and require specific legal advice on applying under this category, you can either e-mail us on or you can complete our visa assessment form by clicking here. You can also contact our dedicated Client Support Team on 0207 237 3388 to get information on how ICS Legal can support you in this visa category. 

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