This page explains the work permit criteria for jockeys. These criteria were agreed following consultation with the governing bodies for jockeys. This criteria is supplementary guidance to the published employer guidance notes and both sets of guidance should be referred to when making an application.
Length of season
There is no specific season for this sport as it is an all year round sport.
In order to establish that a jockey is of the appropriate standard for a work permit to be issued the following criteria apply:
- The jockey should have been issued with a licence, equivalent to a full jockey's licence in the United Kingdom, from an overseas recognised turf authority, and this should be submitted with the application.
- The jockey should also have ridden 'pattern-class' winners (i.e. winners at group or grade 1, 2 or 3 level and listed races).
- A work permit will be issued on condition that the jockey is issued a United Kingdom licence. The Horseracing Regulatory Authority (previously the Jockey Club) has agreed to notify the sports and entertainments team, UK Border Agency when they are prepared to issue a licence.
Where a jockey is working in the United Kingdom for 30 consecutive days or less they may be exempted from requiring a United Kingdom licence, but the jockey would still need to have been issued with a licence from a recognised turf authority overseas.
Specific points to consider
A non-European Economic Area (EEA) person coming to ride for a United Kingdom stable, on a United Kingdom stabled horse, in a one-off race, such as the Derby, would need a work permit, as he/she could be displacing resident jockeys.
A non-EEA person coming to ride an overseas stabled horse in a one-off race could be admitted under the concessionary permit free arrangements without the need for a work permit. Guidance on this is available in the Immigration Directorate's Instructions (IDIs) Chapter 17 Section 8 'Sportsmen and Women'.
The home base of a horse can be confirmed by Weatherbys, the racing industry secretariat. Contact Paul Palmer on 01933 440077.
In order to establish that a trainer is of the appropriate standard for a work permit to be issued there is only one criterion:
- The trainer should have been issued with a United Kingdom licence. The licence should be submitted with the application, where possible. If this is not possible, the Horseracing Regulatory Authority has agreed to notify the sports and entertainments team, UK Border Agency when they are prepared to issue a licence in order that a work permit can be issued.
Where a trainer is only working in the United Kingdom for 30 days or less they may be exempted from requiring a United Kingdom licence, but the trainer would still need to have been issued with a licence from a recognised turf authority overseas.
Where the sports and entertainments team, UK Border Agency requires advice they will consult with The Horseracing Regulatory Authority and the Jockey Association.
Length of issue
Work permits will be issued for the length of contract, up to a maximum of five years.
The salary is usually agreed as part of the contract between the individual rider and employer. This and the other conditions of employment should be at least equal to those normally given to a 'resident worker' for this work. Where the salary quoted appears to be lower than expected we will seek information and advice from the sports' governing bodies and riders' representatives.