Changes to Visa Requirements
The main changes to be brought to the visa involve recruitment for clubs in the Premier League and English Football League (EFL), who previously had to adhere to strict guidelines when recruiting new players from overseas.
The changes will make it easier for new players of exceptional promise to be brought to the UK, even if they do not fulfil the points requirement for the visa.
Because of these changes, Premier League and Championship teams will now be able to bring in four additional international players, and League One and League Two teams will be able to bring in two players.
Widening Opportunities for Young Players
Previously, the restrictions of the International Sportsperson visa largely meant that only those who were already elite, highly established players could immigrate to the UK.
This meant that clubs were unable to recruit potentially exceptional up-and-coming players who were not yet firmly established in the sport.
However, these changes may help to widen opportunities for younger, promising players who wish to develop their skills in the UK with English clubs.
Players will be able to come to the UK if they have an endorsement under the newly-created Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) criteria. Under this new exception, the FA will be able to endorse new players if the club can evidence that they show significant potential and is of sufficient quality to enhance the development of football in England.
Statement from the FA
Mark Bullingham, the chief executive of the FA, has stated the following:
“As English football’s governing body, we oversee the whole football ecosystem, and we wanted to create a new model which would meet the different objectives of our football stakeholders. We worked closely with the clubs and the leagues, and have designed a progressive solution which will give clubs additional access to international talent and incentivise playing opportunities for English talent.”
Changes to the International Sportsperson visa and English clubs’ recruitment of new players came into effect from the most recent opening of the transfer window on 14 June 2023.
Last modified on July 26th, 2023 at 8:10 pm
Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.
We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.
Fast Track Package
Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.
The Advice Package
With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.
The Application Package
Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.
The Appeal Package
Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.