The Tier 2 Sportsperson visa 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.
When you apply for the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa, you must hold a valid certificate of sponsorship, will need to meet the English language requirement and also the maintenance. You may apply for exemption from the English language requirements.
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. Further to that, 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.
How to apply for the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
The visa process is a simple and straightforward, however you will need to make sure the certificate of sponsorship have been assigned with the correct details and also the prescribed evidences have been provided.
When applying, the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa application is applied online; this is whether you are in the UK or outside of the UK. Once you have completed your Tier 2 (Sportsperson) application, you will be able to pay for the visa fees and book the visa appointment. As part of the submission, you will need to submit your legal representation and also the evidences to support your Tier 2 (Sportsperson) application.
The decision making of a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa does not take more than 15 working days however this would depend on individual applications and country of application. Once a decision is served, the Home Office can issue up to 5 years Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa. Your visa validity will depend on the certificate of sponsorship issued by your employer.
Your Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa comes with a number of conditions, which includes no recourse to public funds, may require registering with the police and will need permission to study in the UK unless the exception policies apply.
You can also apply for your dependants to join you in the UK. They will need to meet the immigration requirements as set out and must have adequate maintenance to join you in the UK.
Refusal of your Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
If your Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa is refused, there will be a right to complete an administrative review. The decision letter will usually set out the reasons on the refusal and you will have limited time to challenge the decision.
You will have one opportunity to challenge the decision, therefore you need to make sure the grounds and submission is done correctly.
Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) migrant
Where you have completed 5 years continuous residency in the UK as a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) migrant, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain. The category allows you to combine other immigration categories which is limited to Tier 1 visas, any Tier 2 categories to name some of the categories that could be added to the 5 years residency requirements.
The application requires that you do not fall for refusal under general grounds of refusal and must not have any un-spent criminal or civil convictions. As part of your application, you will need to provide evidences of your 5 years continuous employment in the UK. This must be evident in your application file.
You should also get a letter from the employer who sponsored your stay in the UK confirming that you have been working throughout the period of the visa held and further to that, you will need to show the knowledge of life requirements have been met.
Finally, you must have the full intention to live and work in the UK as a Tier 2 (Sportsperson).
Taking legal advice on the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
At ICS Legal, we will advise you on the correct process of applying under the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa and support you throughout the visa application process.
You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa requirements by sending us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us on 0207 237 3388. We also have a free visa assessment form that you can also complete.