Creative and sporting visas

If you’re playing or coaching sport or involved in the creative arts at the highest level you may be able to apply for a temporary creative and sporting visa. You’ll need to show that you will have an impact on the development of sport in this country, or that you can offer a unique contribution.


You’ll need a certificate of sponsorship from an approved provider. Any work you do must relate to your employment.
If you’re a sports person you’ll need to make a significant contribution to your sport at the highest level in the UK, have a certified sponsorship reference number and enough money to support yourself.

If you’re applying for the creative visa, you’ll need all of the following under your belt:

  • To have a unique contribution for the UK labour market, such as being required for continuity or internationally renowned.
  • certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • Be paid the minimum salary as set by Equity, PACT or BECTU
  • Enough money to support yourself.

Costs and Maintenance

You need to show you have enough money to support yourself (at least £1270 when you arrive.) You will usually have to show proof of this when you apply and pay the health surcharge.

How long can you stay?

If you change sponsors you’ll need to reapply. If you intend to leave and come back your sponsor must provide a multiple entry visa.
Your sponsor can provide a visa which lasts for the length of your stay even if you perform at more than one engagement.
If you’re working for more than one sponsor during your stay, you can get a certificate from each sponsor. There must not be a gap of more than 14 days between jobs.

This is not a route into permanent settlement.

Get in touch

To find out more about sports and creative visas, our team of expert immigration lawyers or immigration solicitors can help.

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