27 January 2009

Crocker may retire if UK visa falls through

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Australian Test forward Michael Crocker is considering early retirement if his application for a UK visa is not approved, reports BBC News.

The Melbourne Storm back rower has applied for a UK work permit to play in the Super League XIV for Hull, yet his application is still awaiting approval. 

"I don't think I'll go back to the NRL," he told the Sydney Telegraph.  "If England doesn't happen, I don't know if I'll go back to the Storm."

They haven't really got any cash so I'll probably spend the year getting my life after footy sorted."

Recently, Todd Carney also tried to move to the UK to play for Huddersfield and had his UK visa application denied by the British High Commission in Canberra. 

Crocker has had to apply for his visa under the new points-based system for immigration, and because the Home Office has made the pathway for sportspeople to play in the UK tougher, he is finding his application is taking longer than expected.

As of 27th November last year, sportspeople looking to play in the UK have to apply for a UK visa under tier 2 or tier 5 of the new points-based system for UK immigration. 

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.


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