Many employers are happy to recruit Commonwealth nationals under the age of 30, who can work with a Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa. However, it is important to bear in mind the restrictions that apply to this type of leave. In particular, Tier 5 Youth Mobility Workers are not allowed to work as a professional sports person.

The definition of a ‘professional sports person’ is surprisingly wide, as it is, someone, whether paid or unpaid, who:

  • is providing services as a sports person, playing or coaching in any capacity, at a professional or semi-professional level of sport, or
  • being a person who currently derives, who has in the past derived or who the Secretary of State has reason to believe is seeking in the future to derive, a living from playing or coaching, is providing services as a sports person or coach at any level of sport, unless they are doing so as an ‘amateur’ in a charity game
  • in the definitions of ‘amateur’ and ‘professional sports person’, ‘derive a living’, ‘paid’ or similar references include payments made in kind.

This means that Tier 5 Youth Mobility Workers should not be playing for semi-professional teams (even if unpaid), or working as coaching assistants in schools. The Home Office has been cracking down on this recently, amidst concerns that young Brits are missing out on development opportunities due to competition from migrant workers.

The restriction on working as a professional sports person applies to many, but not all, types of visa. If you do want to recruit a migrant for this type of role, please contact a member of our Immigration Team to discuss what options might be available.