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Tier 2 - Sportsperson

The new tier 2 sportsperson category is for elite sports people and coaches who are globally established at the highest level, and will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport.

Who can apply?

You must remember that if your are applying under the sportsperson category, you must have:

  • a sponsor; and
  • a valid certificate of sponsorship with a governing body endorsement number.

When you apply you are awarded points based on your:

  • certificate of sponsorship;
  • English language skills;
  • and available maintenance (funds).

Your sponsor must give you your governing body endorsement number when they give you your certificate of sponsorship. Find a list of all Home Office approved governing bodies.

You can apply under the sports person category now if you are:

  • applying for permission to enter the United Kingdom (known as 'entry clearance') under the sports person category
  • in the United Kingdom with permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain') in an immigration category that allows you to switch into the sports person category.
  • already in the United Kingdom as a sports person and want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category.

How long you can stay for

If you are given permission to stay as a sportsperson, you will be able to live and work in the United Kingdom for a maximum time of three years plus one month, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus one month, which ever time is shorter.

At the end of the three years, you will need to apply to extend your stay as a sportsperson if you want to more stay.

If you are applying to extend your permission to stay in the United Kingdom as a sportsperson, you will get another two years, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, which ever time is shorter.

If you are given permission to stay in the United Kingdom and your previous permission to stay was as a work permit holder, you can still apply under the transitional arrangements and you will get permission to stay for a time that takes you to five years in the United Kingdom. For example, if you have been here for four and a half years with permission as a work permit holder or under the transitional arrangements, you can apply for six months permission to stay.

You may apply for settlement once you have been here for five years. If you do not, you must apply under the points-based system and make a new application.

If you want to come to the United Kingdom as a sports person for a shorter time, you should apply under the creative and sporting worker category of tier 5.

Who should apply?

You should apply if you are over 16 years old and are not a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and want to enter or stay in the United Kingdom to work in tier 2 of the points-based system.

You should apply if you are:

  • in the UK with permission to stay in an immigration category that allows you to switch into tier 2;
  • already in the UK under tier 2 and want to extend your permission to stay in your existing category; or
  • applying from outside the UK for permission to enter in tier 2.

Who does not need to apply under the points-based system?

You do not have to apply under the points-based system if:

  • you are an EEA or Swiss national;
  • you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
  • you are a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom because at least one of your grandparents was born here;
  • your spouse or civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner, or (if you are under 18) one of your parents has permission to stay in the United Kingdom under tier 2 of the points-based system (although you should apply as a dependant); or
  • you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.

Working and conditions

When you can come

You can enter the United Kingdom up to 14 days before you start your job. The start date of your job is the one given by your sponsor in your certificate of sponsorship.

Conditions of your stay

Permission to stay in the United Kingdom is given only if you meet the following requirements:

  • you have no access to state benefits; and
  • you must register with the police if this is needed by paragraph 326 of the immigration rules: and
  • you do not start up or run a business; and
  • you do not work, except:
    • with a certificate of sponsorship for a licensed sponsor; and
    • in an extra job in the same sector and at the same level, as long as it does not go over 20 hours a week;
    • doing voluntary work.

You must pay the correct fee with your application, and send the correct supporting evidence to support your application. If you make an application and it is unsuccessful because you do not meet the requirements, Home Office will not refund your fee. See costs for fees.

Extra jobs

You can do extra work to the job that you have a certificate of sponsorship for if:

  • it is in the same profession at the same professional level as the job that your certificate of sponsorship is for;
  • the work is no more than 20 hours a week;
  • the work is outside the working hours that the certificate of sponsorship is for.

You do not need to tell Home Office about any extra jobs you take, and can do voluntary work in any sector.

You must not be paid or receive other money for the voluntary work, except reasonable expenses as in section 44 of the National Minimum Wage Act. See the OPSI website on the right of this page for more information about the National Minimum Wage Act.

Second jobs

You can apply to do a second job that is not the same profession as the job your certificate of sponsorship is for and is not an extra job as above, for example a job that is over 20 hours a week. But you must have a new certificate of sponsorship for this work from a sponsor.

You cannot apply for a second job until you have started working for your first sponsor (the one that gave you your certificate of sponsorship that allowed you to come to the United Kingdom). You will have to meet the points-based assessment for the category.

You will have to apply again and include a letter to say that you want to change your existing permission to stay. The letter must include:

  • your name;
  • your date of birth;
  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number (from the permission to stay you want to change);
  • confirmation of when your current permission to stay runs out.

Changing your job

If you have permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom under tier 2, you can apply to change your job either in the same organisation or in a new organization. You must apply again and meet all the points? requirements.

You will not have to resend evidence of your English language or maintenance (funds) if you have already proven this in your first application. If you not have already sent evidence, you must send it or your application will be refused.

Finishing a job

If your job ends before your permission to stay runs out, it is likely that Home Office  may limit your permission to stay to 60 days. You will need to apply again by making a new application.

Home Office will not limit your permission to stay if you have less than six months left.

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