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On 10th September 2021, the Home Office published the Statement of Changes to UK immigration rules. Among other things, this included the announcement that Illustrious award winners and sport stars will be able to live and work in the UK under new simplified Immigration Rules. This is to attract the brightest and best to the country, delivering on the government’s New Plan for Immigration, and in an effort to remain a global leader in sports, the arts, science, film and technology sectors. These changes will come into affect from 10th October 2021.

International Sportsperson visa route

This is a new fast-track route which will open next month and outlines:

  • Straightforward process for professional athletes across sports to work in the UK
  • Combines the current Tier 2 and Tier 5 paths, to give a dedicated visa for sportspeople and their sponsors.

Global Talent

More illustrious prizes have been added for gifted minds to come to the country. Applicants who hold a qualifying prize will be able to fast-track the endorsement application by making a single visa application. They must have won prestigious awards from the world of arts, science, engineering, medicine including:

Science, engineering, humanities and medicine Benjamin Franklin Medal, Faraday Medal, L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science, various Wolf Prize categories
Arts and culture the Booker Prize, various Queen Elizabeth Competition categories, International Dublin Literary Award
Film and television best supporting actor and actress across the Academy Awards, BAFTA and Golden Globes

The UK government is committed to easing administrative processes for British organisations sponsoring workers from abroad.  Contact us if you require more information or would like assistance in applying to enter the UK under one of these visa routes.


Tony is our UK Immigration Partner. With a diverse knowledge in a range of industry sectors including I.T, Legal Services, Engineering, Insurance as well as the Oil & Gas sectors, he has a wealth of experience in all aspects of immigration including corporate, education and high net worth and private individuals within his portfolio.