09 April 2009
Ford's UK visa application denied
UK visa troubles are causing Graham Ford, the coach for Kent, get into the UK in time to have his team prepared for the start of the 2009 summer cricket season.
Kent's UK visa application is yet to be approved, despite his team due to start playing in one week's time. His UK visa application has to go through the new system for immigration, meaning that the government is making it harder for international workers to get a UK work permit through the Tier 2 category or a temporary visa through the Tier 5 category.
Under the Tier 2 category for migration, skilled workers can apply for a UK visa if they are from outside the EU and have a job offer from a licensed sponsor with a valid Employer Sponsorship Licence. To be able to apply, applicants must have a valid sponsorship certificate and pass the UK points test. There are four categories for application under Tier 2 including skilled workers, intra-company transfers, ministers of religion and sportspeople.
Tier 5 of the points-based system allows temporary workers from outside the EU who have a job offer from licensed sponsors to apply for a UK visa. To be able to apply, applicants must also have a valid sponsorship certificate and pass the points test. Besides sports workers, Tier 5 has five categories for immigration including creative workers, charity workers, religious workers, government authorised exchange workers, and international agreement workers.
"It is extremely frustrating for Graham not to be back for the start of our pre-season," said Kent's chief executive, Paul Millman.
"We are doing all we can to expedite matters and will get him here as soon as possible. He is in regular touch with Simon Willis [Kent's cricket manager] and Phil Relf [the club's academy director] on all pre-season matters and is providing valuable advice on a daily basis."
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.