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UNITED KINGDOM: Changes to the Investor Rules Affect Professional Sportspeople

Changes to the Immigration Rules in December now prevent Tier 1 (Investor) migrants from working as professional sportspeople. In the past, the investor route had been used during the January transfer window by football (soccer) players to circumvent the stringent Sports Governing Body endorsement criteria in the dedicated sporting routes in Tiers 2 and 5. Current Football Association (FA) rules dictate that unless a player has played at least 75% of international matches for his or her country in the last two years, he or she is ineligible for a UK visa. However, most transfers could avoid this requirement by subscribing to the investor category.

It is expected that this change in the rules may prevent sportsmen and women as well as coaches and other sports professionals from moving to the UK.

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