1. Overview

You can apply for a Sports Visitor visa if you:

  • want to come to the UK to take part in a specific sports-related event or activity
  • are part of the support staff or an official working on a sporting event
  • are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • meet the other eligibility requirements

You can’t apply if you qualify for British citizenship - including if you can have dual nationality. You must apply for British citizenship instead.

You will only be able to accept payment in the form of prize money, accommodation and travel expenses.

You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and sporting) visa if you’re doing other paid work.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

You can check the guide to processing times to see how long getting a visa might take in your country.


Sports Visitor visas cost £85.

Long-term visit visa fees are:

  • 1 year - £324
  • 2 years - £324
  • 5 years - £588
  • 10 years - £737

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months on a Sports Visitor visa.

You may be able to extend your stay by switching to a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and sporting) visa.

You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to make repeat visits over a longer period. You can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit and your visa can last for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • play in an event, tournament or series of events as an individual or as part of a team
  • take part in charity events, broadcasts, personal or promotional appearances
  • join an amateur team
  • negotiate a contract or sponsorship deal
  • take part in a trial, as long as it’s not in front of an audience
  • train as an individual or as part of a team
  • work as technical or support staff for a sportsperson or sporting event, eg as an umpire or coach

You can’t:

  • live in the UK for extended periods through frequent visits
  • work, including selling merchandise
  • get public funds
  • study
  • marry or register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
  • get private medical treatment
  • bring family members (‘dependants’) with you on your application - they must apply separately