20 January 2009
Super League players from Australia struggle to get UK visas
Eight Australian Super League players are still waiting to have their UK visas approved by the British Consulate in Canberra, reports the Guardian.
According to the newspaper, the Celtic Crusaders are waiting for eight players to have their UK visa application approved so that they can train together in the lead-up to the first round matches of the Super League in less than three weeks.
John Dixon, coach of the Crusaders, has been disappointed with the disruption caused by the UK visa delay, but remains hopeful that all players have their visas granted.
A tightening of procedures at the British consulate has apparently been the cause of the delay.
Under the Tier 2 category for migration, skilled workers from outside the EU who have a job offer from licensed sponsors with a valid Employer Sponsorship Licence can apply for a UK visa as part of the points-based system. To be able to apply, applicants must have a valid sponsorship certificate and pass the 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.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.
Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.