New International Sportsperson Visa

Oct 27, 2021

On 11 October 2021, the Home Office launched the new International Sportsperson Visa. This route replaces and merges the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa and the sporting element of the Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting) visa.

The Home Office have confirmed the purpose of the route as follows:

‘This route is for an elite sportsperson or qualified sports coach who is both internationally established and able to make a significant contribution to the development of their chosen sport at the highest level in the UK.’


Process and Requirements of International Sportsperson Visa

Obtaining immigration permission under the route remains a two-stage process:

  • Obtain a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) from the Governing Body for the relevant sport; and
  • Apply for entry clearance or permission to stay under the International Sportsperson visa route.

Once the endorsement is granted, the sponsoring club is must assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the applicant, after which the applicant can apply for the visa.

In order to qualify for the visa, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • They have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • They meet the English language requirement (unless they are applying for less than 12 months)
  • They meet the maintenance requirement either through personal funds or certification from the sponsor
  • They can travel to the UK and are able to provide their travel history for the previous five years
  • They hold a valid TB test (if applicable)
  • They hold an eligible qualification (if applicable)

Applications can be made for up to three years at a time.

One other key change is that all nationalities must apply for prior Entry Clearance whereas previously non-visa nationals could request entry on arrival for short-term visas.


Can this route lead to settlement?

This new route can lead to settlement under the following requirements:

  • The applicant has held the International Sportsperson visa for no less than 5 years;
  • The applicant has been paid or will be paid the annual salary of £35,800;
  • The applicant has not had absences out of the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 consecutive months;
  • The applicant has met the English language requirement and passed the Life in the UK test.

Note, settlement as an International Sportsperson can now include time spent on the visa’s short-term route. Previously, this was not possible.


Can dependants apply?

Dependants can accompany or join a person who comes to the UK on the International Sportsperson route. They include their spouses and any children who are less than 18 years old.

Dependants can also apply to settle in the UK with their main applicants, if they satisfy the requirements of the rules.

Have any questions or interested in applying for the International Sportsperson Visa?

Please feel free to call us on 01276 686 222 or submit a website enquiry and we shall get in touch.

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.

Sherry Fitzgerald

Sherry Fitzgerald

Partner, Head of Immigration

Sign up

Enter your email address for legal updates on Employment & Immigration Law.

Please see our privacy policy regarding use of your data.

Contact us

    The information you submit will be handled in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Latest Insights - sign up to our Emailers

    Our Emailers will bring you the latest news and insights from our legal teams as we look at the key talking points in life and in law.

    Our insights will include articles, podcast discussion and information about our events and services.

    You can sign up to as many as you wish and you can opt out at any time.

    Sign up to our Emailers

    Please see our privacy policy regarding use of your data.

    Latest News & Insights


    The Legal Room UK Podcast features a diverse range of specialists offering expertise on a variety of topics. 
    Subscribe on whatever podcast platform you use.

    Top Legal Insights


    Contract Law

    Material Breach of Contract

    What is a ‘material’ breach of contract by a party to a commercial contract? This is a critical issue regularly considered by the courts. What constitutes a material breach and what are the remedies?

    Property Law

    Commercial Lease: The Financial impact on Landlord and Tenant

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the restrictions now in place to control its spread, are having a significant effect on many business sectors.

    Divorce and Family Law

    Divorce in Lockdown: Can I get some discreet legal advice?

    We have spoken to clients who are unfortunately experiencing some family issues, and would like to obtain expert legal advice, yet don’t know how...

    Land & Property Dispute

    Restrictive Covenants – The Price of Modification

    Having identified that your land is burdened by a restrictive covenant and for the purposes of this article the covenant in question will be that only one residential building can be erected on the land. What do you do next?

    Wills, Trusts and Probate

    Why is having a will so important?

    It is entirely up to you if and when you want to create a Will, but it is important to be aware of the consequences of not having a Will.

    Award winning legal advice

    We are solicitors in Camberley, Wokingham and London. In 2019, Herrington Carmichael won ‘Property Law Firm of the Year’ at the Thames Valley Business Magazines Property Awards, ‘Best Medium Sized Business’ at the Surrey Heath Business Awards and we were named IR Global’s ‘Member of the Year’. We are ranked as a Leading Firm 2022 by Legal 500 and Alistair McArthur is ranked in Chambers 2021.

    Building 2  Watchmoor Park, Riverside Way, Camberley, Surrey  GU15 3YL
    +44 (0)1276 686 222

    Ascot (Appointment only)
    102, Berkshire House, 39-51 High Street, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7HY
    +44 (0)1344 623388

    London (Appointment only)
    60 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4JS
    +44 (0)203 326 0317

    Wokingham (Appointment only)
    4 The Courtyard, Denmark Street, Wokingham, Berkshire RG40 2AZ
    +44 (0)118 977 4045

    Email: info@herrington-carmichael.com

    Our Services

    Corporate Lawyers
    Commercial Lawyers
    Commercial Property Lawyers
    Conveyancing Solicitors
    Dispute Resolution Lawyers
    Divorce & Family Lawyers
    Employment Lawyers
    Immigration Law Services
    Private Wealth & Inheritance Lawyers
    Startups & New Business Lawyers

    © 2022 Herrington Carmichael LLP. Registered in England and Wales company number OC322293.

    Herrington Carmichael is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 446245.

    Pay Online

    Privacy Policy   |   Legal Notices, T&Cs, Complaints Resolution   |   Cookies 
    Client Feedback   |  Diversity Data