Work visas and immigration

Individuals from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) wishing to work in the UK require entry clearance (a visa) or leave to remain, issued by the Home Office. The BHA agrees, maintains and implements horseracing’s endorsement requirements for non EEA migrants.

Any non-UK National (with the exception of the Republic of Ireland) who wishes to work in British racing as a Trainer, Jockey, racing staff or in associated regulatory positions will be subject to UK Government Immigration policies. All will require an appropriate permission and/or Visa to seek employment in GB and the type required will vary, depending on the nature of the work to be undertaken.

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, there is now no differentiation in UK Immigration Policy between European Economic Area (EEA) and Non-EEA Nationals. The only exception to this is for Irish citizens under the Common Travel Area arrangements between the UK and Ireland.

Visa applications are dealt with by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) which is part of the Home Office. There are various different visas depending on where you are from, the reasons for your stay, the length of stay and your personal circumstances. You must check if you, or someone you wish to employ, requires a UK visa.  More information on visas are available here:

Under current Immigration Rules, sponsorship of general racing staff must be obtained via the appropriate points based immigration route.

Specific approved categories may apply for a visa under the International Sportsperson route. The International Sportsperson route is for elite sportspeople and coaches who:

  • are internationally established and whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK
  • who will base themselves in the UK
  • will be filling a post that cannot be filled by a suitable British citizen or person who has a right to enter or stay in the UK without restriction.

The BHA is the UK Government recognised sports governing body for horseracing and can endorse relevant sponsors and individuals who meet relevant criteria under agreed categories,. UKVI will only issue an International Sportsperson Visa to elite individuals who meet the agreed Visa requirements, which include a BHA endorsement. The final decision in respect of any Sponsor or Visa application is made by UKVI. If granted, individuals must at all times comply with Visa terms and immigration laws.

Full details of the BHA’s current governing body endorsement criteria, and application process for the International Sportsperson route of the points-based system can be found in the document below.

BHA’s endorsement criteria