Wednesday 29 September 2021 by Andrew Visnovsky
The visa process for English football clubs can seem a bit complicated. After Brexit, the UK set up a new T2 athlete and T5 “(temporary workers) creative or porting” Visa regulations for non-UK citizens or legal residents to work as a professional athlete in the UK. These visas require approval from the governing governing body of the sport under which the prospective employer falls (also known as “Board Endorsement” or a GBE). For the Premier League, the EFL Championship and Leagues 1 and 2, i.e. The Football Association (The FA).
The FA has put in place a points-based system where players must earn 15 points under the program in order to receive a GBE for an athlete visa. There is some flexibility when the player earns 10-14 points and there are exceptional circumstances to show why the player was unable to earn the required 15 points, but in general, players need to accumulate 15 points to qualify for work visa confirmation.
Stephen O’Flaherty explained in detail how the new system works in his article on LawInSport, which you can view here. This article explains the rules in more detail by examining how the scoring system applies to players who play either Major League Soccer (MLS) Teams and / or the US men’s national soccer team (USMNT). This follows a number of recent American players’ transfers to English clubs, including Daryl Dike’s loan to Barnsley and Jordan Morris and Paul Arriola’s loan to Swansea.
Specifically, it looks at:
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About the author
Andrew (pronoun: He / Him) is a lawyer, sports management consultant, and founding member of the Ad Victoriam Sports Group, a sports management consultancy specializing in North American football and the global transfer market of athletes and esports talent.