17 April 2009

UK visa troubles keeping NZ cricketer from debut match

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UK visa troubles for a top New Zealand cricketer has stopped him from playing in his debut match, reports Radio New Zealand.

Iain O'Brien has been waiting for his UK visa application to be approved by the British Government for a fortnight, despite being warned of a 25-day wait for UK visa  approval.

There are two options for a UK sports visa that O'Brien could have applied for, within the Tier 2 and Tier 5 categories of UK immigration.

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.

O'Brien is due to be playing for Leicester County Cricket Club for 13 weeks before returning to the Black Caps (New Zealand national cricket team) for a tour of Sri Lanka.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

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