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Mon 15th Jan 2018

HPA Visa Update

Polo is granted an extension to the 2017 concessions

In a recent update from the HPA, the Home Office has announced an extension to the 2017 concessions given to the polo community regarding international players and grooms in the UK polo circuit. In summary, the regulations regarding international grooms and male players remain the same, with additions made for female players, managers, coaches and polo pony trainers. For more information, please click here for the full HPA report. 

TIER 2 (Sportsperson)  
 
SPONSOR 1. HPA membership; and 2. Confirmation to the HPA that they or their team will be playing high goal and/or medium goal (12 - 15 goals). 
 
MIGRANT 
 
PLAYER: a) has a polo handicap of 5 goals or above issued by the HPA; and b) has previously been employed in the UK as a professional polo player and can provide reference(s) from their previous UK employer(s) for their playing and general conduct; and c) holds a valid coaching qualification or has enrolled in the HPA coaching programme; and d) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal polo team.  
 
LADY PLAYER (For participation in women's polo only) a) has a ladies’ polo handicap of 5 goals or above issued by the HPA; and b) has previously been employed in the UK as a professional lady polo player and can provide reference(s) from their previous UK employer(s) for their playing and general conduct; and c) holds a valid coaching qualification or has enrolled in the HPA coaching programme; and d) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal ladies polo team.  
 
MANAGER  
 
POLO PONY TRAINER a) has been previously employed in the UK in this position; and b) can provide reference(s) from their previous UK employer(s) confirming their expertise, general conduct and ability to impart their skills to others; and c) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal polo team; or d) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal ladies polo team.  
 
COACH a) holds an HPA coaching qualification and has been previously employed in the UK in this position; and b) can provide reference(s) from their previous UK employer(s) confirming their expertise, general conduct and ability to impart their skills to others; and c) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal polo team; or d) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal ladies polo team.  
 
UMPIRE a) holds an HPA umpire grade and has been previously employed in the UK in this position; and b) can provide reference(s) from a recognised overseas governing body that they are capable of umpiring 15 goal polo and above; and c) has a contract of employment with the HPA or an affiliated Club.  
 
TIER 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting)  HIGH AND MEDIUM GOAL   
 
SPONSOR 1. HPA membership; and 2. Confirmation to the HPA that they or their team will be playing high goal and/or medium goal (12 - 15 goals).  
 
MIGRANT  
 
PLAYER a) has a polo handicap of 4 goals or above (or equivalent handicap for ladies with an international ranking) issued by the HPA or by a recognised overseas polo governing body; and b) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal polo team.  
 
LADY PLAYER (For participation in ladies only polo) a) has a ladies’ polo handicap of 4 goals or above issued by the HPA or by a recognised overseas polo governing body; and b) has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal ladies’ polo team.  
 
GROOM has at least two years’ experience as a professional polo groom and can provide: a) reference(s) from their previous employer who is a member of the HPA; or b) reference(s) from their previous employer who is a member of a recognised overseas governing body; or c) a reference from an overseas employer endorsed by an HPA member or a member of a recognised overseas governing body; and d) a contract of employment with: (i) a patron of a high or medium goal polo team; or (ii) a player who has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal polo team; or (iii) a patron of a high or medium goal ladies’ polo team; or (iv) a lady player who has a contract of employment with a high or medium goal ladies’ polo team.  
 
MANAGER  
 
POLO PONY TRAINER, COACH  has at least two years’ experience in this position and can provide: a) reference(s) from their previous employer who is a member of the HPA; or b) reference(s) from their previous employer who is a member of a recognised overseas governing body; or c) a reference from an overseas employer endorsed by an HPA member or a member of a recognised overseas governing body; and d) has a contract of employment with: (i) a patron of a high or medium goal polo team: or (ii) a player who has a contract of employment with a patron of a high or medium goal polo team; or (v) a patron of a high or medium goal ladies’ polo team; or (iii) a lady player who has a contract of employment with a high or medium goal ladies’ polo team.  
 
UMPIRE Has at least two years’ experience umpiring and can provide: a) reference(s) from a recognised overseas governing body that they are capable of umpiring 15 goal polo and above; and b) has a contract of employment with the HPA or an affiliated Club.  

TIER 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting) 
 
LOW GOAL  
 
SPONSOR 1. HPA membership; and 2. Confirmation to the HPA that they or their team will be playing low goal; and 3. Sponsors Undertaking - All low goal sponsors will be required to sign an undertaking to the HPA that they will comply with the endorsement criteria and that they acknowledge that the HPA may conduct checks to ensure the endorsement criteria are met. Compliance Officer - The HPA will appoint a compliance officer to monitor the requests made for endorsement and to assess the applicant meets the requirements. The HPA compliance officer may conduct random checks on low goal sponsors  
MIGRANT  
 
GROOM  Sponsorship shall only be endorsed for a sponsor who obtained at least one endorsement in the 2017 season for a groom, and no sponsor shall have more low goal sponsorships issued in 2018 than were issued in the 2017 season; and no sponsor may have more than two groom endorsements for low goal; and The groom must have: (a) at least two years’ experience as a professional polo groom; and be able to provide (i) reference(s) from their previous employer who is a member of the HPA; or (ii) reference(s) from their previous employer who is a member of a recognised overseas governing body; or (iii) a reference from an overseas employer endorsed by an HPA member or a member of a recognised overseas governing body. (b) a contract of employment with: (i) a patron recognised by the HPA as having been a patron of low goal polo in the 2017 season; or (ii) a player who has a contract of employment with a patron of a low goal polo team;
 
Please Note:  These requirements also apply to extensions and change of employment endorsements. 
 
Length of approval: Governing Body Endorsements should be issued for a period appropriate to the period of approval for sponsorship or the tier under which the application is being made, that is: 
 
As a Sponsor: Tier 2 or Tier 5 - for 4 years. All new sponsors must be an organisation and not a private individual e.g. a club or team. 
 
Migrant Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Initial application - length of contract or up to 3 years’ maximum, whichever is the shorter period. Extension application - length of contract or up to 3 years’ maximum, whichever is the shorter period. Changes of employer possible. 
 
Migrant Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting) Length of contract or up to 12 months, whichever is the shorter period. Extension applications are possible up to a total of 12 months in this category e.g. player sponsored for 4 months then a further 8 months’ extension is possible. Changes of employment possible only if the migrant has not already spent 12 months in this category.  If stated in their governing body endorsement requirements, governing bodies may endorse an individual for a shorter period than the employment contract e.g. a season. If this is the case, the individual must be made aware that their certificate of sponsorship and consequently entry clearance or leave to remain will be limited to the length of the endorsement and will not be for the length of the contract.  Should there be a dispute, which cannot be resolved, it will be referred to a panel of the Chief Executive and two members of the HPA Council.  For any endorsement queries, please contact Sophie McPherson on 01367 242828 or sophie@hpa-polo.co.uk

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