Tier 4 visa holders – changes to the definition of ‘Professional Sportsperson’

In January 2019 UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration) released updated policy guidance concerning Tier 4 visas with reference to the definition of ‘Professional Sportsperson’.

These changes have an impact on international students who require a visa to study in the UK and the capacity in which they are allowed to participate in sports while they are in the UK.

  • Tier 4 visa holders are able to play for University sports teams in BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) competitions. This would not be considered a breach of visa conditions as it would be considered as playing at an amateur level.
  • Tier 4 visa holders are not able to undertake any form of coaching role for their university teams whether paid or unpaid.
  • Tier 4 visa holders are not able to undertake any form of coaching role for local sports teams or clubs, or Schools or College through any sort of outreach programme.
  • Students are not able to compete in events outside of BUCS, i.e. in regional, national or international leagues.

UKVI are planning to review this definition, but we do not have confirmation of the date for this, we will update you when the change has been made.

Further information can be found here: UKCISA Working in the UK information

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