WORK PERMITS

Ice Hockey Criteria for 2015-16 Season
For Non-European Economic Area (EEA) Ice Hockey Players & Coaches

Set out below is the criteria that all clubs in the UK have to meet in order to obtain a governing body endorsement for obtaining and/or retaining a sponsor licence, sponsoring players and/or coaches from outside the European Economic Area under the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) and Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting) categories of the Home Office Points-Based System (PBS).

The following criteria for the 2015-16 season have been agreed by the Home Office following consultation between Ice Hockey UK and the Elite Ice Hockey League. The criteria will be reviewed yearly.

Criteria for Sponsors

Governing body endorsements will only be issued subject to satisfactory compliance with all immigration regulations, UK legislation and the principles of the PBS for applications from teams competing in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). None are permitted to be issued for any development leagues operating in the UK or Northern Ireland. A governing body endorsement will be issued for 4 years.

Criteria for players

Players coming to the UK under Tier 2 (Sportsperson) or Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting

Players coming to the UK should have played in at least 75% of competitive games where they were available for selection from the following leagues, in the last complete season prior to the start date of the relevant current domestic season.

National Hockey League (NHL) American Hockey League (AHL)

Country

1st Division

2nd Division

Sweden

SHL

HockeyAllsvensken

Finland

Liiga

Mestis

Russia

KHL

VHL

Czech Republic

Extraliga

1.Liga

Switzerland

NLA

NLB

Slovakia

Extraliga

1.Liga

Latvia

Latvia 1

Norway

Get Ligaen

1.Divisjon

Belarus

Extraliga

France

Ligue Magnus

Division 1

Germany

DEL

DEL2

Slovenia

Slovenia 1

Denmark

Metal Ligaen

1.Division

Austria

Erste Bank Liga

Inter-National-League

Players coming to the UK under Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting)

Players coming to the UK should have played in at least 75% of competitive games where they were available for selection from the following leagues, in the last complete season prior to the start date of the relevant current domestic season.

East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)
National Collegiate Athletic Association Div 1 (NCAA) (consisting of Atlantic Hockey, Big Ten, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East, National CHC and Western CHC)
Canadian Hockey League (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
Canadian Interuniversity Sports League (AUS, CWUAA, OUA and RSEQ)

Country

1st Division

Kazakhstan

Karagunda Liga

Italy

Serie A

Hungary

Borsodi

Ukraine

PHL

Japan

Asian League

Olympic / World Championship players may apply under the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) or Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting) categories

Players who have represented their country in the Olympics or the World Championships should have played in at least 75% of competition games for a IIHF World Championship ranked above Great Britain’s (seniors) national side within the 12 months prior to the entry clearance or leave to enter application.

Statistics for initial endorsement

The UK Club should provide copies of any press reviews relating to the player and statistics or the previous season to demonstrate that the player meets the above criteria. Wherever possible, statistics from overseas club for whom the player played the previous season must be provided. This must be on the clubs letter headed paper. The use of statistics from ‘Hockey News’ or official websites such as: EliteProspects.com, NHL.com, DHL.com and ECHL.com can be accepted where information from clubs is difficult to obtain.

Renewal of endorsement

Players returning or extending

Where an overseas player is returning for another season (after playing in the UK during the previous season) they must have played 75% of games subject to a minimum of 20 fixtures. Where an overseas player is extending their leave they must have played at least 75% of their previous UK team’s competitive games subject to a minimum of 20 fixtures.

Statistics for renewal of endorsement

The club is to provide a copy of the players previous season’s statistics.

Criteria for Goal Tenders

A goaltender must have played (not dressed) in at least 75% of competitive games from the previous season.

For renewal, extension and change of employment applications, a goaltender must have played (not dressed) in at least 75% of games, subject to a minimum of 20 fixtures.

Injuries and suspensions

If a player or goaltender was not available for selection for a match or series of matches due to injury and provided that written independent medical evidence is submitted stipulating which games the player missed through injury, those games will be excluded from the total when calculating the player’s appearance percentage.

Games in which players or goaltenders were suspended will be discounted when calculating the player’s appearance percentage provided that the club can supply written evidence on official letter headed paper of the League.

Criteria for Coaches

Coaches should possess a Level 2 IIHF qualification or equivalent or above to coach players in Elite Ice Hockey League, English Premier League, English National Leagues and Scottish National League.

Where the team’s sessions is being run by a qualified coach, other players may be allowed to assist with the coaching where the information is disclosed in the player’s contract.

No player or coach may run learn to play programmes, Hockey schools, or any other on ice activity outside the remit of his working application to coach or play for his team/ sponsor whom has employed him.

Endorsement Application time frame

No applications will be accepted after the registration deadline set down by EIHL or the IIHF international Transfer deadline, this being a new application or renewal application.

Resident Labour Search

In all cases clubs should provide evidence that they have undertaken a genuine and thorough resident labour search before they apply. Clubs should advertise vacancies in the appropriate media and should include an indication of salary offered.

Transfers from other EIHL Clubs

Applications for players to transfer to another club during a season will be treated as a change of employment application. They will be assessed against the criteria for the initial endorsement i.e. the players will continue to qualify on the basis of 75% competitive games played subject to a minimum of 20 fixtures in the previous season in the qualifying league overseas.

Specific points to consider

A visa is issued for an individual to work for a specific employer. If a club releases their player or goaltender, their re-employment by another club may not be automatic. The player must meet the requirements of the transfer criteria. Players or goaltenders are not permitted to join a new club until clearance for that club has been granted.

Length of Issue

Governing Body Endorsements will be issued for a period appropriate to the tier under which the application is being made, that is:

• Tier 2 (Sportsperson )
Initial application – for the length of the individuals contract or up to three years, whichever is the shorter period.

Extension application – for the length of the individuals contract or up to three years, whichever is the shorter period. A subsequent extension of a further three years is possible when the first extension is about to expire.

Please note that applications made under Tier 2 will be subject to an individual who is not from a majority English-speaking country passing an accredited English Language Test.

• Tier 5 (Creative & Sporting) – for the length of the individuals contract or up to 12 months, whichever is the shorter period. No in-country extensions are possible of more than a total period of 12 months. For example, if a player initially had six months approval they would be allowed to apply for an extension in-country up to another six months. If a club wishes to continue to employ an individual beyond 12 months, the individual will have to return overseas to make a new application.

Salary

There are no specific salary guidelines for this sport. However, the level of the salary is negotiated as part of the contract between the individual player/coach and employer. This and other conditions of employment should be at lest equal to those normally given to a resident worker.

Supplementary Employment

Tier 2 & Tier 5 migrants are eligible to undertake Supplementary Employment under the Home Office Supplementary Employment Regulations (please refer to the Tier 2 & 5 Guidance for Sponsors – Supplementary Employment).

Secondary Employment

Tier 2 & Tier 5 migrants are eligible to undertake Secondary Employment under the Home Office Secondary Employment Regulations (please refer to the Tier 2 & 5 Guidance for Sponsors – Secondary Employment).

Ceasing the employment of players

If a club ceases to employ a player prematurely, they must inform the Home Office via the Sponsor Management System (SMS).

An employer could be guilty of a criminal offence, if they employ someone who requires permission to take employment in the UK and does not have the correct permission. To employ a person who already has a Tier 2 or Tier 5 clearance, or change their job, the employer must get approval from the Home Office before the person can start work.

What if the person is in the UK when the application is made?

If the person is in the UK at the time of the application and wishes to transfer from one team to another, they will need to obtain new approval from the Home Office and IHUK before they commence employment.

In-country change of employment applications require the new club wishing to employ the player to make a fresh clearance application for the individual, which will incur a charge.

Further Information

If you require further information regarding the endorsement requirement process please contact:

Andy French, General Secretary, Ice Hockey UK, Regus House, Malthouse Avenue, Cardiff CF23 8RU.
General.secretary@icehockeyuk.co.uk

For PBS enquiries:
Home Office www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration

Business helpdesk BusinessHelpdesk@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

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