The lifecycle of an international athlete: Part 2 – Key immigration issues when entering the UK

Published 11 September 2017 By: Hazar El-Chamaa

Visa concept with man in the background

In the second in Penningtons Manches’ series of blogs for international athletes and their advisers, immigration expert, Hazar El-Chamaa, outlines the key legal points to consider when coming to compete in the UK. 

This comes in the wake of athletes being denied entry on arrival or facing delays for failing to take into account immigration requirements. Given the risks of adverse immigration history and reputational damage, it is important to get legal advice early on to make sure any issues are resolved well in advance of a scheduled event.

Below we set out the key immigration and visa issues to be aware of. The information is relevant to both long-term stays (e.g. footballers staying to perform a five year contract) and shorter visits (e.g. tennis players staying for a few days/weeks to compete in a tournament).


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Hazar El-Chamaa

Hazar El-Chamaa


Hazar is a partner in the immigration team at Penningtons Manches. With over ten years’ immigration experience, she provides global immigration solutions to large multinational organisations from a wide range of sectors including sports and entertainment.

She is an elected trustee of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) and has provided training for ILPA, the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the Boarding Schools Association. Hazar is recommended by TheLegal 500 and is included in the CitywealthLeaders List 2016 for immigration.