Good news for SA Sportspersons

Good news for SA Sportspersons looking to play in the UK

Good news for SA Sportspersons looking to play in the UK

A new UK immigration route will bring welcome news for South African sportspersons looking for opportunities to play their sports in the UK.

Good news for SA Sportspersons

Good news for SA Sportspersons looking to play in the UK

The Home Office has created a new UK immigration route called the International Sportsperson Visa. The visa allows elite sportspersons and qualified sports coaches to work in the UK. 

How to qualify for the International Sportsperson Visa 

Players will have to be 16 years or older. You must also have a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer – this will normally be the UK based sports club, offering you the chance to play in the UK. 

The relevant sports governing body must recognise you as being at the highest level of your sport internationally and endorse your visa application. 

The rules to qualify and the process may sound very daunting. Fortunately, your Breytenbachs consultant will be able to assist with the sponsorship, endorsement and application process from the start right to the finish. We have a dedicated team dealing with these applications.

What are the benefits of the International Sportsperson Visa?

There are many benefits to this visa that will attract more South African sportspersons to play and coach for UK sports clubs. 

The visa can lead to settlement. After spending five years on the visa, the applicant should qualify for settlement in the UK. Provided, of course, that you fulfil all the other normal criteria. 

There is no time limit that you can spend on this visa. If you do not wish to apply for settlement after five years or fulfil the other criteria, you can simply apply to extend your visa. 

Your partner and children can accompany you to the UK, and their visas will be valid for the same period as yours. They will also be able to qualify for settlement after five years in the UK. 

Workwise there are many benefits. You will be able to play for your national team in the UK, work as a broadcaster, study and do unpaid voluntary work. 

Under certain circumstances, you will even be allowed to do a second job if you need and want to. 

How Breytenbachs can help you

If you want to apply for an International Sportsperson Visa or would like to discuss other visa options, please email us at or phone your closest Breytenbachs SA office at the following contact details Durban – 031 880 2777, Cape Town – 021 830 5246 or Pretoria – 021 460 9959 

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.