Temporary Worker – Sportsperson Sponsor Licence

The UK government enforces strict regulations on the employment of non-UK and Irish nationals in the country. In most cases, UK employers seeking to hire overseas workers must obtain a Sponsor Licence.

Why do you need an International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence?

The International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence is specifically designed for UK organizations to sponsor individuals working as elite sportspersons or qualified coaches. This visa allows an individual to work in a specific role for up to 3 years, with the possibility of extension.

Organizations with a granted International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence can recruit and sponsor non-UK nationals under the International Sportsperson visa route.

This route is a combination of the previous Tier 2 Sportsperson and Tier 5 Temporary Worker Sporting routes. Organizations with existing T2 Sportsperson or T5 Temporary Worker Creative and Sporting licences under the Sporting route were automatically converted to an International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence on December 1, 2020.

If uncertain about having an active Sponsor Licence, organizations are encouraged to contact the XT 24 team for assistance in determining their status.

Who can you sponsor under an International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence?

Sponsorship under the International Sportsperson route is possible only if individuals are endorsed by the Governing Body for their sport. They must be internationally established at the highest level and make a significant contribution to the growth of the relevant sport in the United Kingdom.

Applicants seeking a visa for more than 12 months must demonstrate a certain level of English language ability and provide evidence of a specific level of funds in their bank account for at least 28 days. Alternatively, the employer can certify maintenance for the first month of employment.

Eligibility requirements for an International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence application

To apply for a licence, organizations must be endorsed by the Governing Body for their sport. If there is no Governing Body for endorsement purposes, applying for a licence is not possible until a Governing Body is approved.

Organizations must demonstrate that they are legally operating in the UK, have a genuine need for an International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence, and fully understand their duties and responsibilities as a sponsor. Adequate HR systems and processes must be in place to fulfill these responsibilities.

Application Process for International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence

To apply, organizations must complete an online application form and submit supporting evidence and information by email. This includes specified company documents to prove legal operation in the UK, particulars of the organization, and justification for needing a Sponsor Licence. Endorsement by the sport’s Governing Body is also required.

All documents and information must be submitted within 5 working days of the online submission to prevent rejection.

Assessment and Home Office Visit

The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) will conduct an initial assessment based on online and email submissions. While a licence can be granted based on these alone, the UKVI may choose to conduct a detailed visit to assess the genuineness of the need for a licence.

During a compliance visit, the UKVI will review the organization’s practices, policies, and HR procedures to ensure they meet sponsor duties. If an application is refused following a visit, the organization may be barred from reapplying for at least 6 months.

Processing Time and Fees

The standard processing time for assessment is 8 weeks. A priority service is available, reducing the processing time to 2 weeks for a fee of £500. Priority slots are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Home Office fee for a Sponsor Licence varies based on the organization’s size. For small companies and charities, the fee is £536, while for all other companies and organizations, it is £1,436.

How XT 24 Team Can Help with a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application

XT 24 has been assisting companies of all sizes in obtaining Sponsor Licences since the introduction of the Points Based System in 2008. The team can work with organizations to understand their business needs, draft sponsor licence applications, and ensure thorough preparation for compliance duties. XT 24 aims to help organizations present a compelling case for the genuine need for a sponsor licence.

For advice or assistance with Sponsor Licences, organizations are encouraged to contact XT 24 for a discussion about their situation and XT 24’s Corporate Immigration services.

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