Fast track for sports stars and award winners expanded

Published on: 07/10/2021


Simplified immigration rules have been announced by the Government, which will give internationally renowned sports stars and award winners a smoother process to live and work in the UK.  

The new fast-track International Sportsperson category opens this month, replacing the current Tier 2 and Tier 5 categories, which streamlines the immigration process for elite sportspersons and their UK sponsors. Similar to the Tier 2 Sportsperson predecessor, the visa will continue to be valid for 12 months or less. 

Around 73 prestigious awards have been added to the UK’s existing Global Talent visa route, widening the pool of eligibility for the world’s most gifted individuals to bring their talent to the UK.  

The types of awards have been broadened to be more inclusive of the arts, culture, medicine, engineering, and the sciences. Eligible applicants now include winners of the Booker Prize, an Academy Award, the UNESCO Award for Women in Science, a BAFTA and the International Dublin Literary Award, a Golden Globe..  

The Global Talent visa currently requires applicants to first be given an endorsement from an approved governing body, before submitting their visa application. The changes to the rules mean that Global Talent applicants with an eligible award may instead submit a single visa application, expediting which speeds up the endorsement application.  

The Government continues to make changes to the immigration rules as part of their ‘sponsorship roadmap,’ with the overall aim being to ease the process for UK organisations to sponsor migrant workers. Please get in touch with our UK Immigration team with any of your corporate immigration queries. 


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