BAFA meets with Home Office to discuss Borders and Immigration challenges.
By BAFA Media and Marketing
Mar 26, 2023 - 9:48:38 AM

In light of upcoming changes to the Borders and Immigrations legislation relating to non-EEA personnel entering the United Kingdom, BAFA WSP Manager recently met with Cheryl Pellew, Senior Account Manager, Sponsor Management Unit at the Home Office to discuss the impact on the sport of American Football. Present at the meeting was James MacDougall, International Policy advisor at the CCPR.
“In a nutshell” commented Ken Walters, “the upcoming changes could have a far reaching impact on the non-EEA (European Economic Area) personnel who wish to perform roles in our sport - whether as players, referees, coaches or volunteers”. Ken added, “If this topic is not addressed appropriately, it could leave BAFA and its members vulnerable in some areas”.
Timescale for the implementation of recent legislation will not impact the 2008 BAFL season. However, there may be an impact for non-EEA personnel who wish to perform in the our sport from October 1, 2023 - namely the future BUAFL and BAFL seasons as well as other BAFA related activity from that date.
James MacDougall added, “It is great that BAFA is taking such a proactive stance in addressing at an early stage what could be awkward legislation for sport in the UK. BAFA has also helped CCPR in responding to the recent visitors visa consultation, which has been a vital part of CCPR’s continuous campaign to make access for international sportspeople easier and to minimise the legislative burden on sport from this new legislation”.
Ken added, “Fortunately, our central registration database (PlaySmart) and current work-in-progress Whole Sport Plan (WSP) projects means we can accommodate this legislation with relative ease should it become mandatory later this year”.
Cheryl commented, “After meeting with Ken, it is clear that BAFA are fully engaging with the Border and Immigration Agency and aware of the new Points Based System (PBS).  The PBS will allow employers and event organisers to bring in the sports talent they need quickly and efficiently, helping to bolster the UK’s position as a leading destination for international sports.  We at the Border and Immigration Agency look forward to continuing to build our close relationship with sports stakeholders to make immigration work for Britain’”.
The BAFA will observe the developments of this topic and act accordingly in the coming weeks and months.

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