Overview

You can apply for a Tier 2 (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’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Getting sponsored

Your sponsor is the governing body endorsing your application. They’ll assign you a certificate of sponsorship to prove they’re sponsoring you.

How long it will take

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

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

You can check processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa depends on where you are.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch (in the UK)
You £610 £704
You - as a national of Turkey or Macedonia £555 £649
All dependants £610 each person £704 each person

Healthcare surcharge

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK

You’ll need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

Get a faster decision on your application

If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK you can pay an extra £500 for the priority service to get a decision within 5 working days.

You can pay an extra £800 for the super priority service to get a decision:

  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend

Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa for up to 3 years.

You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 3 years to a maximum stay of 6 years.

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 family members with you

You cannot:

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