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English Premier League Work Permits

English Premier League Work Permits is required for non-European Union (EU) and non-European Economic Area (EEA) players to play for a an EPL club. Footballers from outside the EU must obtain a work permit if they wish to play for English football clubs. Every non-EU footballer must successfully apply for a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) with the FA before the Home Office will consider issuing a work permit.

Note that the work permit system in the UK has historically been based on a points-based system. Players must accumulate a certain number of points based on various criteria to be granted a work permit.

EPL Work Permit Points Based Assessment

For those wishing to join a football club in England, some of the key factors that contribute to the English Premier League points-based assessment include:

  1. International Appearances: Players from countries with higher FIFA rankings are more likely to receive points based on the number of international appearances they have made for their national teams.
  2. Percentage of International Matches: The percentage of international matches played over a set period is taken into account.
  3. Transfer Fee: The transfer fee a club pays to sign the player can also influence the work permit decision. Higher transfer fees can result in more points.
  4. Wage: The player’s wage or salary is considered as part of the points assessment.
  5. League Quality: If the league from which the player is transferring is of a high standard, the player is more likely to receive points.
  6. Special Talent: In exceptional cases, a player who doesn’t meet the usual points requirement might still be granted a work permit if they are deemed to possess exceptional talent.

It’s important to note that the EPL and the Football Association (FA) have the discretion to make decisions that may deviate from the standard criteria. For example, a club can appeal if their application for a work permit is denied and present additional evidence to support their case.

Moreover, the impact of Brexit has introduced changes to the work permit system for EU/EEA players. The “Bosman ruling” no longer applies to the UK, which means that EU/EEA players are now subject to the same work permit requirements as non-EU players. You may want to learn how Non EU/EEA players can work or play in the UK

FIFA Ranking For EPL Work Permits

Official FIFA Ranking Required % of international matches in past 2 yrs
FIFA 1-10 30% and above
FIFA 11-20 45% and above
FIFA 21-30 60% and above
FIFA 31-50 75% and above

International Footballers and the FA Premier League

The Football Association Premier League is one of the most global football leagues in the world, with players from around the globe plying their trade in England. In addition to the large number of European players, there are now a significant number of players from Asia, South America, and even Africa. However, many clubs in the lower levels of English football are moving their attention and transfer budgets to foreign players because certain foreign players may be acquired for less money than homegrown talent.

Who Submit The Application For An EPL Work Permit?

In practice, it is the player’s responsibility but frequently it is the club wishing to sign a player who will apply for a work permit, and it must agree to sponsor that player to be in the UK. The club will issue a certificate of sponsorship which must then be submitted to the relevant FA for it to consider a GBE. The club may file an appeal if it is rejected. Once a GBE has been granted, a work permit application may be submitted.

How To Apply For English Premier League Work Permit

  1. Club Sponsorship and Application:

    The first step typically involves the football club that wishes to sign the player. The club acts as the sponsor for the work permit application. They will gather all the necessary documentation such as a UK visa and other information required for the application process.

  2. Points-Based Assessment:

    The club will need to demonstrate that the player meets the points-based criteria set by the Football Association (The FA) and the Home Office. This includes factors like international appearances, transfer fee, wages, and more. The more points the player earns, the stronger the case for the work permit.

  3. Governing Body Endorsement:

    The club needs to obtain a “Governing Body Endorsement” from The FA. This endorsement is an additional step in the application process and is aimed at ensuring that the signing of the player aligns with the broader interests of football development in the country.

  4. Application Submission:

    Once the club has gathered all necessary documentation and endorsements, they will submit the work permit application to the Home Office or the appropriate immigration authorities. The application will include information about the player’s background, skills, achievements, and how they fulfill the points-based criteria.

  5. Home Office Review:

    The Home Office will review the application and the accompanying documentation. They will consider the player’s eligibility based on the points system and other relevant factors. The Home Office may also consider any exceptional circumstances or arguments made by the club in support of the application.

  6. Decision and Appeal:

    The Home Office will make a decision on the work permit application. If the application is approved, the club can proceed with the player’s transfer. If the application is denied, the club may have the option to appeal the decision. This could involve providing additional evidence to strengthen their case.

  7. Issuance of Work Permit:

    If the application is successful, a work permit will be issued to the player, allowing them to legally work and play football in the EPL.

FAQs On English Premier League Work Permits

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding work permits for footballers in the English Premier League (EPL):

Who needs a work permit to play in the English Premier League?

Non-European Union (EU) and non-European Economic Area (EEA) players usually require a work permit to play in the EPL. This is note a Schengen visa.

What is the points-based system for work permits?

The points-based system assigns points to players based on factors like international appearances, transfer fee, wages, and league quality. Players need to accumulate a certain number of points to be granted a work permit.

How many points do players need for a work permit?

The required number of points can vary and depends on the specific criteria and the current regulations. There’s no fixed number, as the points threshold can change over time.

Can a player appeal if their work permit application is denied?

Yes, clubs can appeal if a player’s work permit application is denied. They can provide additional evidence, such as statistics and testimonials, to support their case.

Do youth players have the same work permit requirements?

Regulations for youth players might differ. Some countries have specific rules for young players, which might be less stringent than those for adult players.

Does the quality of the league the player is transferring from matter?

Yes, the quality of the player’s previous league can affect the work permit decision. Transfers from higher quality leagues might earn more points.

Can a player with exceptional talent get a work permit even if they don’t meet all criteria?

In some cases, players with exceptional talent might be granted a work permit even if they don’t meet all the usual criteria.

How has Brexit impacted work permits for EU/EEA players?

After Brexit, EU/EEA players are no longer subject to the same free movement rules. They are treated similarly to non-EU players and must meet the standard work permit requirements.

Are there any exceptions to the work permit rules?

The EPL and the Football Association (FA) have some discretion to make exceptions or consider special circumstances.

Do players from EU/EEA countries need work permits to play in the EPL now?

Yes, post-Brexit, players from EU/EEA countries also need work permits to play in the EPL.


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