UK Sports Visas for Tennis
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is recognised by the Home Office as the Governing Body for endorsement requirements for clubs and athletes in Tennis in the United Kingdom.
The LTA must approve any club prior to that club applying for a Sponsor Licence. The LTA will only approve clubs for a Tier 2 and/or Tier 5 sponsor licence if the club is:
- A 'Places to Play' club - e.g being on the list of tennis clubs on the LTA website
- Holds a Tennis Clubmark accreditation - this is LTA recognition that a club has achieved a certain high standard.
Being a 'Place to Play' and holding a Tennis Clubmark is not exclusive to private members clubs. Accreditation from the LTA is also available to:
- School Clubs
- Tennis programmes based in public parks
- Commercial sector Tennis programmes
As with other sports, the general test applies to any club or organization wishing to employ a non-EEU sportsperson or coach - he /she must meet criteria outlined by the LTA.
A licence holder who wishes to apply to the LTA for a GBE should complete the requisite form and attach an administration fee. Further details are available on request or by contacting the LTA directly as the forms vary depending on the type of employment.
If employing a full-time coach, documentary evidence must be provided to the Home Office confirming that the applicant satisfies the following criteria:
- A qualification equivalent to NVQ Level 2 in coaching
- Teaching and Instructing Tennis1
- A proven track record of coaching players in the top 500 of the ATP/WTA Tour or ITF Juniors
Please note a satisfactory criminal records check is also required.
If a club wishes to employ the applicant coach under Tier 2 then the club must have advertised the role on the appropriate forum for a period of 4 weeks. This is to confirm there are no suitable resident workers who meet the criteria. Please contact us for guidance as to the most appropriate media for advertising.
Upon receipt of application, the LTA will convene a panel of at least two senior members of the LTA to consider the application. Final approval is provided by a senior member of the LTA legal team.
In the event that the LTA refuses a GBE application a request for review may be submitted by the Applicant club. It should be noted that only a Places to Play club with Tennis Clubmark accreditation may apply.
Any request for review is subject to a 28 day window from date of the refusal of the LTA to issue a GBE and is commenced by the Appellant making an application to the LTA's Licensing and Registration Committee (CL&RC). The LTA request that evidence in support of the review be lodged in advance to allow proper consideration and is recommended that evidence is lodged with, or very soon after, the review request is made.
Please contact us for further information regarding the LTA appeal process.
The LTA also provides letters of invitation to players and their support teams of world ranked players who wish to come to the UK to participate in a tournament or a series of tournaments. The busiest time of year is the Grass Court season, which runs for around a month from early June to early July, although this will be extended from 2015.
During the grass court season, there are four principal Tennis events which take place in the UK - The Birmingham Classic on the WTA tour, The Eastbourne International, The Aegon Championships at Queens Club and The Championships at Wimbledon.
World Ranked Players
The LTA has a number of formal requirements which must be met prior to issuing a letter of invitation. Please contact us for further information. The LTA do not provide specific advice to prospective visitors on immigration matters.
The LTA also provide letters of invitation to business visitors. Visitors are limited to training, development and observation. Please contact us for further information.