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Home Office Update Definition of a Professional Sportsperson

January 8th, 2019


The Home Office definition of a professional sportsperson has been amended.

 The Home Office change will take effect for all visa applications and permission to enter the UK (as a Non Visa Nation) from the
10th January 2019.

 For all visas issued prior to that date the existing definition will apply until the visa runs out.

 The updated version is copied below.
Please note:
  • There is only one policy for all sport.
  • Not all points will apply to Cricket. For example in Cricket, all state teams have First Class status meaning that they come under point 3 and not point 5.
“A “Professional Sportsperson”, is someone, whether paid or unpaid, who:
1. Is currently providing services as a sportsperson, playing or coaching in any capacity, at a professional or semi-professional level of sport;
2. Is currently receiving payment, including payment in kind, for playing or coaching that is covering all, or the majority of, their costs for travelling to, and living in the UK, or who has done so within the previous four years;
3. Is currently registered to a professional or semi-professional sports team, or who has been so registered within the previous four years. This includes all academy and development team age groups;
4. Has represented their nation or national team within the previous two years, including all youth and development age groups from under 17’s upwards;
5. Has represented their state or regional team within the previous two years, including all youth and development age groups from under 17’s upwards;
6. Has an established international reputation in their chosen field of sport;
7. Engages an agent or representative, with the aim of finding opportunities as a sportsperson, and/or developing a current or future career as a sportsperson, or has engaged such an agent in the last 12 months; 
8. Is providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport, unless they are doing so as an “Amateur” in a charity event.”

Additional clarification

For the past few years ECB has had an allowance from the Home Office to only include those players who have played above U17.

As the new definition includes time lapse provisions, cricket has to fall in line with all sports now and so the benchmark is those who have played U17 and/or above.


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