NON-EEA drivers reminded of visa requirements to take part in professional sport
Drivers from outside the European Economic Area who race in Britain have been reminded of the visa requirements to compete in professional sport.
MN understands that members of the MSA and the Home Office met recently to discuss visa arrangements for these drivers. The Home Office reiterated its definition of a professional sportsperson, meaning some drivers have been racing with the incorrect visa. The Home Office states that a professional sportsperson is “someone, paid or unpaid, who currently derives, who has in the past derived or seeks in the future to derive, a living from playing or coaching…unless they are doing so as an ‘Amateur’”. Therefore, drivers competing in series such as BRDC British F3 and British F4 fall into this category and need to have a visa that covers professional sport.
Double R boss Anthony Hieatt – who is running several drivers from outside Europe this season – said: “The whole system is crazy. The drivers are not earning a living from this; it’s quite the opposite, they’re spending money and boosting the economy so it’s madness.”
Douglas Motorsport’s F3 racer Thomas Randle is one driver who had the wrong visa. The Australian said: “I’m in final talks to sort the visa – I should be OK to continue. It’s daft: we’re bringing money into a championship, but the Home Office just sees it as black and white.”
Randle: wrong visa