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Owen Chan and Charlotte O'Connor write for Law in Sport on UK Football Visas

The summer football transfer window in the UK ended on 1 September and with it the end of the first transfer window allowing for Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) under the new ‘Elite Significant Contribution’ (ESC) criteria for overseas footballers looking to secure an International Sportsperson visa to play in the UK.

The new ESC criteria applys to elite foreign players who will make a significant contribution to the sport. It was introduced following a consultation process with stakeholders to address the implications of a significantly reduced talent pool following Brexit. The Premier League, for example, had expressed concerns that the post-Brexit rules and regulations meant that clubs had to pay more to secure talent.

In an article for Law in Sport, Owen Chan, Associate, and Charlotte O'Connor, Knowledge Development Lawyer, examine the ways to obtain a GBE as a football player for an International Sportsperson visa. The article covers:

  • International Sportsperson visas for the UK
  • The three traditional routes to secure a GBE
  • The new additional ESC endorsement route
  • Criteria for ESC Players
  • The “foreign player vs homegrown talent” balance
  • Conclusion and looking ahead

Read the full article in Law in Sport here

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