The FA will grant endorsement for a work permit to elite football players who are internationally established at the highest level. In order to qualify for this, the person must:
Make a significant contribution to the development of their sport in the UK and must base themselves in the UK;
Be from outside the EEA and Switzerland.
When assessing an application for automatic endorsement, the FA will apply the following criteria in deciding whether a player is ‘elite’ and ‘internationally established at the highest level’ and whether they are likely to make a significant contribution to the development of football in the UK:
The applicant must be joining a club in the Premier League or Football League;
The applicant must have participated in a minimum set percentage of their home country’s senior competitive international matches during the two years (or one year if under 21) preceding the date of application. The percentage is based upon the following:
International Team Ranked 1-10, must have appeared in 30% of matches;
International Team Ranked 11-20, must have appeared in 45% of matches;
International Team Ranked 21-30, must have appeared in 60% of matches; and
International Team Tanked 31-50, must have appeared in 75% of matches.
The Rankings above are based on the official FIFA World Rankings.
If a player fails to meet the above FA requirements for automatic endorsement, the football club can appeal under the FA appeals process to the Exceptions Panel. The criteria for the Exceptions Panel is split into ‘Objective Criteria’ and ‘Subjective Criteria’.