Can you come to the UK as a sports visitor?
This page explains whether you can come to the UK as a sports visitor.
The 'sports visitor' category is for nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. If you are an EEA or Swiss national, or a family member of an EEA or Swiss national, the European nationals section explains how you can come to the UK.
You can come to the UK as a sports visitor if you are a sportsperson who wants to:
- take part in a specific event, tournament, or series of events (including charity events and exhibition matches) as an individual competitor or a member of an overseas team; or
- join an amateur team as an amateur sportsperson (provided you receive no payment except for travel and other expenses);
- make a personal appearance or take part in a promotion such as a book signing or television interview;
- negotiate a contract or discuss a sponsorship deal;
- take part in a trial (which must not be in front of an audience, either paying or non-paying);
- do a short period of training, as an individual or as part of a team.
For example, competitors in the British Open Golf or Wimbledon, touring football and cricket teams, and boxers coming for 1 fight can all be sports visitors.
You can also come to the UK as a sports visitor if you are:
- a member of the technical or support staff of amateur or professional sportspeople, and you are attending the UK with them for the same event or series of events; or
- an official attending a sporting event or series of events as, for example, an umpire.
You must be able to show that, during your visit, you do not intend to:
- live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits;
- take paid or unpaid employment, produce goods or provide services, including the selling of goods or services directly to members of the public;
- do a course of study;
- marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership; or
- receive private medical treatment.
You must also be able to show that:
- you are 18 or over;
- you intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months;
- you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit;
- you have enough money to support and accommodate yourself without working or help from public funds, or you and any dependants will be supported and accommodated by relatives or friends;
- you can meet the cost of the return or onward journey; and
- you are not in transit to a country outside the 'Common Travel Area' (Ireland, the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).
For information about your rights and responsibilities while you are in the UK, see the Visitors' rights and responsibilities section.
You should provide documents to show that you meet the above requirements. The Documents page contains more information.
You may need to obtain a visa before you can come to the UK as a sports visitor. The Do you need a visa? page contains more information.