International Sportsperson Visa

An International Sportsperson visa allows a non-UK or Irish national to work in the UK as an elite sportsperson or qualified coach. The visa amalgamates the T2 International Sportsperson and T5 Temporary Worker Creative and Sporting routes, introduced in 2021.

When can you sponsor someone on an International Sportsperson visa?

To sponsor someone under this route, you must have a genuine vacancy, a job at a minimum skill level (equivalent to RQF 3 or A Level standard), and a salary of at least £10.10 per hour. Employers need an International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence or be willing to apply for one.

Key eligibility criteria for the applicant:

  • Endorsement by the Governing Body for their sport, confirming international establishment at the highest level and a significant contribution to the sport’s growth in the UK.
  • Applicants seeking visas for over 12 months must demonstrate a certain level of English language proficiency (currently A1 of the CEFR).
  • Previous criminal convictions or immigration issues may affect visa approval.

How long can you sponsor an International Sportsperson for?

An International Sportsperson visa can be issued for a maximum of 5 years. Employers can support extension applications as long as the applicant remains in the same role or a similar one. No limit exists on extending stay under the Skilled Worker route.

After 5 years, individuals may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, eliminating the need for sponsorship.

Can someone on an International Sportsperson visa move to another employer?

The visa ties employment to a specific company and role. While a visa holder can potentially switch employers or roles with the current employer, they must apply for a new Skilled Worker visa.

How do you sponsor an International Sportsperson?

Ensure the offered job meets Skilled Worker visa criteria. If without an International Sportsperson Sponsor Licence, apply for one. As a sponsor, obtain and assign an electronic Certificate of Sponsorship via the Sponsor Licence portal. The sponsored individual submits their visa application online, including supporting documents, possibly attending a biometrics appointment.

The XT 24 team can offer expert guidance and support at every stage of this process. For more information about XT 24 and its Corporate Immigration services, please contact a team member.

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