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Do you need a Visa to enter the UK

If you are visiting the UK fora short time for a sports event or for business or tourist reasons related to sport, you
may require a UK Visitor Visa and should read the information below.


If you are coming to the UK totake up an employment offer from a UK employer related to sport, you will not be
eligible for a UK Visitor Visa. Instead you should apply under the UK's Points Based System and be invited by a
UK registered sponsor to come to the UK -see

1. Do I need a visa to visit the UK?
Yes, you will need a visa if you hold a valid passport from one of the countries set out on the list at the end of
this note(see also

No, you will not need a visa, if you hold a valid passport froma country not on that list (eg. Australia, Canada,
USA, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, etc.) if you are coming to the UK each time as a visitor for 6 months or
less. (But note section 4 below on the requirement for supporting documents to be shown on landing in the UK.)

No, youwill not need a visa to come to the UKfor any length of timeif you hold a valid passport froma country
in the European Economic Area (which includes all the European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and
Liechtenstein) or Switzerland.

Note: the UK is not a member of the Schengen group of countries, so a Schengen visa (applicable in other
European countries) will not be valid for travel to the UK.

2. Which visa do I need to apply for?
(a) Sports Visitor Visa
You will be able to apply for a Sports Visitor Visaif you are invited by an event organiser in the UK to take part in
a one-off sports event or a series of sports events as a competitor. Coaches, officials, event volunteers or
support staff accompanying the sports person would also qualify. If you are an athlete coming to train in the UK
you may also apply for this type of visa, provided you are not going to stay in the UK for longer than six months. If
you are under 18 years of age you should apply for a Child Visitor Visa.

(b) Child Visitor Visa
All applicants under 18 years of age require a Child Visitor visa. You will need written consent to travel from your
parent/guardian in your home country and you will need to show that you have proper travel, reception and care
arrangements in place for your stay in the UK. If you apply as an "Accompanied Child", you must travel with the
adult named on the visa; if you apply as an "UnaccompaniedChild", you may travel alone or with any adult.

(c) Business Visitor Visa
If you are visiting the UK for a business meeting or conference, to sign contracts, undertake site visits, or for fact-
finding missions, you should apply for a Business Visitor Visa. If you are a member of the media, you will also be
classed as a Business Visitor, provided you are employed or paid by an overseas company and visiting the UK to
gather information for an overseas media organisation.

(d) General Visitor Visa
If you are coming to visit the UK as a spectator, dependant or spouse/partner of a sports person, guardian to a
child under 18, or simply for general tourism, you should apply for a General Visitor Visa.

(e) Long-Term Visitor Visa
People with a good history of travel in recent years may wish to apply for a Long-Term Visitor Visa validfor 1, 2, 5
or 10 years for multiple entries to the UK, provided that you spend no more than six months in any twelve months
in the UK. This could be helpful if you will be making several trips to the UK over the next few years. It also
means you will only have to give your biometric details the first time youapply for a visa.

If you have a Sports or Business Visitor Visa, you may also enter the UK as a tourist. But you may not enter as a
sports person or attend business meetings if you have the General Visitor Visa. (Note that: (a) you may also need
a visa to transit the UK on your way to other countries, and (b) special requirements will apply in 2012 for
accredited participants in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (more detail to follow in 2011 from LOCOG).)

3. How and where do I apply for my visa?
You should apply well in advance of travel (at least two months) to ensure there is sufficient time for your visa to
be processed. Details of where to apply can be found at
In some countries you must apply on line: see You may also be able to
make an appointment during this on line process to submit your printed and signed form in personat your nearest
Visa Application Centre (VAC) orat a British mission (Embassy/Consulate-General etc) overseas.

If your country does not have the on line application facility, you will need to complete a Visa Application Form - see This also needs to be signed and presented in person at a VAC.

You will haveto provide biometric data (10-digit finger scans and a digital photograph) by attending in person at a VAC or British mission each time you apply for a visa. The same process will apply for visa applications to all EU countries by 2012.

4. What documents do I need to support my entry to the UK?
If you are not an EEA or Swiss national, you will need to provide documentary evidence to Immigration on landing
at a UK port or airport of the reason for your visit to the UK -eg the invitation from the sporting organisation. You
may also be asked for evidence that you can support yourself financially and accommodate yourself in the UK, do
not intend to base yourself in the UK and will leave at the end of your visit.

If you need a visa to visit the UK, you will also have to include supporting documents with your visa application.
As an applicant for a Sports Visitor Visa, youwill have to provide evidence of previous sports participation that
resulted in your selection for the event in the UK, a contract of employment or letter from an employer saying you
can return to your job and an original invitation letter from the sports federation inviting you to the UK. A full list of
supporting documents is set out at the end of the Visa Application Form.

5. How much will my visa cost and how long will it last?
All the 6 month visitor visas listed above are generally valid for six months with multiple entries to the UK during
that time and cost £67. The Long-Term Visitor visas are £215 (1 or 2 years); £400 (5 years) and £500 (10 years).
(Fees correct as from 6 April 2009.)

6. Where do I get more information?
More detailed comprehensive information on how and where to apply for a UK visa can be found on the UK
Border Agency's Visa Services website ( or at your nearest VAC or British mission.

Countries whose nationals need a visa to come to the UK

Afghanistan Central African Republic Georgia Laos Pakistan Tajikistan
Albania Chad Ghana Lebanon Peru Tanzania
Algeria China, People's Rep.of Guinea *Lesotho Palestinian Authority Thailand
Angola Colombia Guinea Bissau Liberia Philippines Tog
Armenia Comoros Guyana Libya Qatar Tunisia
Azerbaijan Congo, Democratic Republic of Haiti Macedonia Russia Turkey
Bahrain Congo, Republic of India Madagascar Rwanda Turkmenistan
Bangladesh Cuba Indonesia Malawi Sao Tome & Principe Uganda
Belarus Cyprus, northern part of Iran Mali Saudi Arabia Ukraine
Benin Djibouti Iraq Mauritania Senegal United Arab Emirates
Bhutan Dominican Republic Ivory Coast Moldova Serbia Uzbekistan
*Bolivia Ecuador Jamaica Mongolia Sierra Leone Vatican City
Bosnia-Herzegovina Egypt Jordan Montenegro Somalia *Venezuela
Burkina Faso Equatorial Guinea Kazakhstan Morocco *South Africa Vietna
Burma (Myanmar) Eritrea Kenya Mozambique Sri Lanka Yemen
Burundi Ethiopia Korea (Dem. People's Rep) Nepal Sudan Zambia
Cambodia Fiji Kosovo Niger Surinam Zimbabwe
Cameroon Gabon Kuwait Nigeria *Swaziland  
Cape Verde Gambia Kyrgyzstan Oman Syria