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 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 £83.

Long-term visit visa fees are:

  • 1 year - £300
  • 2 years - £300
  • 5 years - £544
  • 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

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