Switch to this visa

You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.


You must meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) eligibility requirements and you must already be in the UK under any of the following visas or schemes:

  • Tier 1 visa
  • Tier 2 (General) visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 4 visa - if you have an eligible qualification or you’ve done at least 12 months of a PhD
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting) for a job as a professional footballer

You can also switch to this visa if you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re a:

  • dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa
  • representative of an overseas business

You must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (Sportsperson) application from abroad if you’re not in any of these categories.

Eligible qualifications for Tier 4 visa

You must have been sponsored by a licensed tier 4 sponsor to get one of the following qualifications:

  • a UK bachelors degree
  • a UK masters degree
  • a postgraduate certificate in education
  • a professional graduate diploma of education

PhD students

You must have completed at least 12 months’ study during your most recent stay in the UK. This can be through a licensed Tier 4 sponsor or another visa that allowed you to study.

How long you can stay

You can apply to extend your stay in the UK with a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa for up to 3 years and 14 days.

You must leave the UK after this and can only apply for this visa again if either:

  • 12 months have passed and your previous certificate of sponsorship was granted for less than 3 months
  • you can show you’ll be paid a gross annual salary of £159,600 or more


It costs £704 to switch to this visa.

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.

How to switch your visa

Read the Tier 2 guidance notes before you apply.

You must apply online as an individual or family group, using the standard or priority service.

Biometric information

You must also pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken. You’ll be told how to do this after you’ve applied.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to switch your visa is successful.

How long it takes

Decisions are made:

  • within 8 weeks if you use the standard service
  • within 10 days if you’re able to use the Tier 2 priority application service

You’ll be told if it will take longer, for example if:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • your application is complex because of your personal circumstances, for example you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.