Overview

You can apply for an International Sportsperson visa if all of the following apply:

  • you’re an elite sportsperson or qualified coach, who’s recognised by your sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of your profession internationally
  • your sport’s governing body is endorsing your application
  • your employment will develop your sport in the UK at the highest level
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

This visa has replaced the Sportsperson (T2) visa and the sporting part of the Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting visa (T5).

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

If you or your family member started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.

The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:

  • you have a later deadline - for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 - for example, you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse

Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Otherwise you need a visa to work in the UK.

Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Getting sponsored

Your sponsor is your employer. They’ll give you a certificate of sponsorship to prove they’re sponsoring you.

How long it takes

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents.

You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.

Getting a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within:

  • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
  • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

If you need to go to an appointment, you may be able to pay for a faster decision. How you do this depends on whether you’re outside the UK or inside the UK.

How much it costs

You, your partner or children will each need to:

Application fee

The fee depends on how long you want to stay.

If you’re staying up to 12 months, the fee is £244 per person.

If you’re staying for longer than 12 months, the fee depends on whether you’re:

  • applying outside the UK - £610 per person
  • applying inside the UK to extend or switch - £704 per person

If you’re from an eligible country

Your application fee will be automatically reduced by £55 if you’re from one of the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

This reduction only applies to your visa application. Your partner and children will still need to pay the full application fee.

How long you can stay

Your visa can last for up to 3 years. You can extend it as long as you’re still eligible.

After 5 years, you may be able to settle permanently in the UK.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in certain circumstances
  • play for your national team in the UK
  • work as a sports broadcaster
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible

You cannot:

  • get public funds
  • start or run a business
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor