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Overseas Players

Overseas Players Dec 2019 Update

There are many things to consider when bringing a player into your club from overseas.

It isn’t simple, you will need to plan well ahead, you will need bucket loads of patience and you will have to understand that government departments and their offices around the world will not share your sense of urgency to get the matter resolved!!

 

Summary

You will need to determine:

  1. The player’s status (Professional or Amateur)
  2. The type of government and governing body approval that is needed to register the player
  3. What documents are held by the player allowing them to enter the UK legally
  4. If the League Rules allow for this player to play for you.

Responsibility

Your club is responsible for ensuring all legal requirements are adhered to and that any information supplied and forms completed to enable decisions to be made by authorities is accurate. Information supplied by third parties, the player or anyone acting on their behalf should always be checked and verified by the club.

You should always work with the facts. Bending the truth to meet requirements or to smooth out the process can often lead to problems with applications down the line which could lead to additional costs, delays and decisions going against you.

 

Authorities

The prime authority in all decisions is the Home Office.

The ECB and GMCL can only lead you to material available for you to make a decision in accordance with Home Office regulations.

Overseas or not?

In the game we historically use the term “Overseas” which has covered many different circumstances over the years but the current definition is effectively anyone who is not qualified to play for England

This is primarily down to how long a person has been permanently resident in the UK and hasn’t represented another country in a fixed period.

Status (Professional or Amateur)

The status of a player Is no longer just about whether you pay the player or not.

The Home Office have set down several parameters which cover the players current AND past activity in the game.

Professional Sportsperson (Home Office) –

With effect for visas issued after the 10th January 2019, (any visa issued prior to that date has to comply with the definition at that point.)

A “Professional Sportsperson”, is someone, whether paid or unpaid, who :

  1. is currently providing services as a sportsperson, playing or coaching in any capacity, at a professional or semi-professional level of sport;
  2. is currently receiving payment, including payment in kind, for playing or coaching that is covering all, or the majority of, their costs for travelling to, and living in the UK, or who has done so within the previous four years;
  3. is currently registered to a professional or semi-professional sports team, or who has been so registered within the previous four years. This includes all academy and development team age groups;
  4. has represented their nation or national team within the previous two years, including all youth and development age groups from under 17’s upwards;
  5. has represented their state or regional team within the previous two years, including all youth and development age groups from under 17’s upwards;
  6. has an established international reputation in their chosen field of sport;
  7. engages an agent or representative, with the aim of finding opportunities as a sportsperson, and/or developing a current or future career as a sportsperson, or has engaged such an agent in the last 12 months; and/or is providing services as a sportsperson or coach at any level of sport, unless they are doing so as an “Amateur” in a charity event.”.

These are all facts so after considering them you should be able to determine the status of the player and therefore determine how you should proceed to move the matter forward.

Entry into the UK

There are several ways that a person can legally enter the UK and having decided that the overseas player can play for you, you should ensure that the player has the correct documents to enter the UK legally.

  • Anyone with a UK passport can legally enter the UK but holding a UK passport does not mean they are eligible to play for England and therefore a UK passport holder can still be classed as an ‘Overseas’ player.

  • Anyone with an EU passport can (currently) legally enter the UK without a visa.

There is also a form produced by the ECB as guidance only, see Appendix 1 below.

ECB approval to play

In some instances, players have to have a sponsor and that would come down to the club and its officials and that has to be verified, usually by the ECB.

GMCL approval to play

You should always consider the league rules on player registration. There is a maximum number of Overseas players that can be played at any given time.

  • GMCL clubs may only have one “Professional” “Overseas Player”
  • The Term “Overseas Exempt” is an ECB term to describe persons who have not qualified for UK residence but have lived in the UK legally for 2 or more years.
  • GMCL allows up to two “overseas” players per team.
  • At First XI level this can be one Overseas Professional plus an Overseas Amateur player or an Overseas Exempt player or two Overseas Amateur players.
  • Overseas Amateurs or Professionals are only allowed in Saturday League 1st XI teams
  • At Second XI and below clubs may have up to two Overseas Exempt players.
  • Overseas professionals and Overseas Amateurs are not allowed in the Sunday competition for any team, including First XIs playing in that competition.

GMCL Contact 

Any communication with the league on the topic should be e-mailed to GtrMcrCricket@mail.com with "Overseas Player" in the subject line.  As already stated we cannot make a decision for you, we can only point you at the relevant guidance.

Appendix 1

The following table is copied from an ECB publication, last updated on 12 December 2019.

This comes with the following statement: “The following table is provided as general overview only. The ECB are not registered immigration officials therefore if you require specific immigration guidance you will need to contact UK Visas and Immigration

Updated 12/12/2019

Clubs wishing to use the services of a player who is not on a Tier 5 Creative & Sporting (Non FCC) visa, must ensure that the visa allows them to play and/or coach.”

Visa/ Permit

First Class or Non-First Class

Level (As designated by ECB)

Professional/ Amateur Status (As designated by Home Office)

Play

Coach (if

suitably

qualified and

vetted)

Paid to Play / Paid to Coach

Notes

British passport holder

All

Either

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No Restrictions

EU passport holder

All

Either

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No Restrictions (Current at time of issue)

Tier 1 (General/ Entrepreneur/ Exceptional Talent/Graduate Entrepreneur/Investors)

Non-First Class

Amateur

Yes

Yes

No

No

Prevented from Professional sport at any level including as a Coach

Tier 2 (General/ ICT/MOR)

Non-First Class

Amateur

Yes

Yes

No

No

No Prevented from Professional sport at any level including as a Coach

Tier 4 (General)

Non-First Class

Amateur

Yes

Yes

No

No

Can play as an amateur, at an amateur club, if they are classified as an Amateur by the Home Office

Tier 5 (Religious Worker/ IA/GAE & Charity Worker)

Non-First Class

Amateur

Yes

Yes

No

No

Must be classified as an "Amateur" by the Home Office and can only play as an Amateur for a predominantly amateur club/ league.

Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting -Non First Class)

Non-First Class

Player/Coach Non First Class Professional

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can only play/coach for the main sponsor and undertake "Supplementary Employment"*

Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting)

Non-First Class

Coach Only Non First Class Professional

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Can only coach for the main sponsor and undertake "Supplementary Employment"* Can only play as an amateur, in a wholly amateur competition or league and

only if they do not meet any element of the Professional Sportsperson definition.

Leave to Remain -Spouse/Accompanying Partner/ EEA Dependant (does not include Points Based System Dependents)

All

Either

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No Restrictions

Ancestry Visa

All

Either

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No Restrictions

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement)

All

Either

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No Restrictions

Standard Visitor Visa

Non First Class

Amateur

Yes

No

No

No

Must be classified as an "Amateur" by the Home Office and can only play as an Amateur for a predominantly amateur club/ league.

Non Visa National

Non First Class

Amateur

Yes

No

No

No

Must be classified as an "Amateur" by the Home Office and can only play as an Amateur for a predominantly amateur club/ league.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

Non First Class

Amateur

Yes

No

No

No

Must be classified as an "Amateur" by the Home Office and can only play as an Amateur for a predominantly amateur club/ league. Can act as a coaching assistant

Notes:

*Supplementary Employment (Home Office definition) - an additional job in the same profession and at the same professional level as the work for which your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned; and

No more than 20 hours per week; and

Outside of the normal working hours for which your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned.

In addition, you must continue to work for your sponsor in the job recorded on your Certificate of Sponsorship