Immigration Endorsement Criteria | Tennis in Britain

Immigration Endorsement Policy

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) recognised Governing Body for setting the endorsement requirements and issuing endorsements for clubs and sportspeople in tennis in the United Kingdom.

In 2008, the (UKBA) introduced a points based system, which allows British businesses to recruit the skills they need from abroad. Under this points based system, tennis clubs will need to obtain a sponsor licence from the UKBA in order to bring sportspersons and coaches from outside the EU into the United Kingdom.

As part of this points based process, clubs must first obtain from the LTA a Governing Body Endorsement BOTH for their sponsor licence and for individual players and coaches.

The LTA’s Governing Body endorsements are only issued subject to satisfactory compliance with all immigration regulations, UK legislation, the principles of the Points-Based System and in accordance with LTA Policy.

UKBA points based system

Under the UKBA points based system, migrants need to pass a points-based assessment before they are given permission to enter or remain in the United Kingdom. The current system consists of five tiers. Each tier has different point requirements. Points are awarded to reflect the migrant’s ability, age and when appropriate the level of need within the sector the migrant will be working.

For more information on the points-based system please refer to the UKBA’s website

The applicable Tiers in which sports people and coaches can enter the UK to live and work in a professional capacity for a club are known as Skilled Tier 2 (Sportsperson) and Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative & Sporting).

  • The Tier 2 (Sportsperson) category of the points based system is for elite sports people and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level, whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK and who intend to base themselves in the UK. If you intend to come to the UK as a sportsperson for a short period you should apply under the Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting) category outlined below.
  • The Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting) category of the points based system is for internationally established sports people at the highest level in their sport and/or whose employment must make a significant contribution to the development and operation of that particular sport in the UK. It is also for coaches who must be suitably qualified to fulfil the role in question. This is for temporary workers who come to the UK for up to 12 months.

Clubs who wish to recruit migrant players and/or coaches for either of the above Tiers must first apply for a sponsor licence with the UKBA as soon as possible. This application process will need to be endorsed by the LTA, please refer to the LTA Immigration Endorsement Criteria Policy for further information regarding applying for an LTA Governing Body Endorsement.

Visiting the UK for sport

In addition to issuing endorsements for clubs and sportspeople, the LTA may also provide a letter of invitation for players and/or agents of world ranked players and/or business visitors. This letter may be necessary to assist with appropriate UK visa entry for the individual on a sports visitor or business visitor basis.

Please contact the LTA British Tennis Services team for further information.

The LTA will not provide specific advice to visitors on immigration matters.

Foreign Nationals intending to visit the UK are advised to refer to the UKBA website for further information on whether they will need to obtain a visa before travelling to the UK.

Find more information on visiting the UK for sport