What is a Sports Visitor Visa?
The Sports Visitor Visa enables sporting individuals from all countries outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland to visit the UK in order to undertake sports related activities.
In order to make such a visit, it is necessary to obtain a Standard Visitor visa for Sports purposes and to enter as a ‘sports visitor’.
Basic Sports Visitor Requirements
To qualify, a sports visitor must demonstrate that he or she is aged eighteen or over
- it is only intended to visit the UK for a short period with a maximum stay of 6 months
- the visit is for a genuine sporting ‘permissible’ activity such as:
- participating in a charity, exhibition or competitive sports event, tournament or series of such events
- joining an amateur sports team – providing there is no payment except for travel expenses
- making a personal or promotional appearance, such as book signing or television interview
- negotiating a contract or discussing a sponsorship deal
- participating in a trial or short period of training, either and part of a team or as an individual
4. it is intended to leave the UK at the end of the visit and that the costs of the onward journey are covered.
5. there are sufficient funds available to cover maintenance and accommodation expenses without working in the UK, without the need to recourse to UK public funds or that there is adequate third party support available for the duration of the stay.
A Sports Visitor Visa is also available to a person who is:
- part of a sportspersons’ technical or support staff attending the UK with them for the same event or series of events
- an official attending a sporting event or series of events such as an umpire or referee.
Sports Visa Documents
To be successful, the applicant must show appropriate documentary evidence, such as:
- Confirmation and details of the sporting event being the purpose of the visit
- If employed – letter from employer approving the period of leave, details of employment, duration, position, salary, and when expected to resume work
- If self-employed – evidence of business activities, accounts and financial credibility
- Evidence of ties to home country – such as ownership of property, business, economic, land, family ties
- Evidence of travel plans – ticket bookings, hotel, itinerary
- Bank statements for last 3/6 months
- Evidence of additional savings
To be entitled to a Sports Visitor Visa an applicant must:
- not intend to study in the UK
- not intend to charge the public for services provided or goods received
- be based abroad and have no intention of setting up a base in the UK
- receive salary/remuneration from overseas
- not intend to marry or register a civil partnership in the UK
- not intend to receive private medical treatment during the visit
- not be a transit passenger to a country outside the common travel area
Grant of Visa
A visa entitles the holder to:
- visit the UK for a maximum period of six months for the purpose declared
- switch to the points based system, where appropriate, to complete the job specified on any certificate of Sponsorship
- multiple entry visas are available for sports visitors
If the permitted period is exceeded, the visitor will become an ‘overstayer’, which status will adversely impact upon any future immigration applications to the UK.
Refusal of Application
An applicant who is refused a sports visitor visa will receive a detailed letter explaining the reasons for the refusal and a fresh application will need to be submitted, if the visa is still required.
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