If you are a professional or amateur sportsperson and you wish to visit the UK to participate in a sporting event (or series of events), a tournament; or you are a member of the team or support staff of a sportsperson attending a sports event in the UK, you will need to apply as a sports visitor.
It is advised that you seek legal advice if you are uncertain whether your purpose for coming to the UK or proposed activity is covered by the “sports visitor” category.
1. You will need to demonstrate that you only intend to visit the UK for a short period – no more than 6 months.
2. You must demonstrate that you intend to visit the UK for a genuine sporting activity. (There are a wide range of activities permitted under this visa category and it is advised that you obtain advice from us at XANTO TRADING LLP. to ensure that your proposed activity falls under a ‘permissible activity’ as outlined by the UK Border Agency).
3. You must intend to leave the UK after the end of your visit and demonstrate that you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey
4. You must show that you have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate yourself (and any dependants) without working in the UK or receiving assistance from UK public funds. Alternatively you can show that your relatives or friends or an organisation will be financially supporting and/or accommodating you.
B. Activities not permitted on a sports visitor visa
- You must not intend to study in the UK
- You must not intend to charge the public for services provided or goods received
- You must be based abroad and have no intention of setting up a base in the UK
- You must receive your salary/remuneration from overseas
- You must intend to marry or register a civil partnership in the UK
C. Documents required
If you wish to apply as a sports visitor, you should ensure that you have basic documentation as follows:
- Confirmation and details of the sporting event/purpose you are visiting the UK
- If employed: Letter from employer approving your leave for a specified period. The letter should include details of your employment, duration, your position, salary etc. and should detail when you are expected to resume work.
- If self-employed: Evidence of your business activities, accounts and financial credibility
- Evidence of ties to your home country – e.g. ownership of property, family ties/responsibilities, employment ties
- Evidence of your travel plans – ticket bookings, hotel bookings, itinerary
- Bank statements for the last 3 to 6 months
- Evidence of additional savings
D. Extension & Switching
The maximum you can stay in the UK, at any single time is six months as a sports visitor.
If however your visa was granted for a period less than six months, you may apply for an extension of your visa which takes you up to the maximum of six months.
You are not permitted to change into another visa category however, if you have already obtained a certificate of sponsorship under Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting) of the points based system and this was issued to you before you entered the UK, you can switch to the points based system to complete the job specified on the certificate of sponsorship.
You may also undertake activities permitted under the business visitor or entertainer visitor categories.
Please note that upon the expiry of your visa, you are required to leave the UK. If you stay beyond the expiry of your visa, you will remain illegally in the UK and you will be considered an “overstayer”. This may have an adverse impact on your immigration record and is likely to affect any future UK immigration applications.
E. Right of Appeal
Applicants can often be refused a visa to enter the UK as a sports visitor and will receive a detailed letter explaining the reasons for refusal.
Only applicants who are visiting close family members are able to appeal against a refusal decision. All other applicants who are visiting the UK for other reasons are not entitled to appeal against a refusal decision.
We therefore advise that if applicants have been refused a sports visitor visa, please seek legal advice on the procedure for submitting a fresh application.
F. Our Services
- We can advise on the procedure of making a ‘sports visitor’ application and discuss the merits of your application.
- We can advise on the procedure involved for applying for visit visas for members of your family.
- We can advise on the evidence required for the entry clearance application.
- We can advise on the merits of an appeal – should your application be refused and attract a right of appeal.
Whatever the case, we are here to help, assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of your immigration matter.