Coming to the UK for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the largest sporting event ever held in the UK. This article will provide a basic guide as to how you can enter the UK for the Games. However, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an immigration solicitor to fully explain the requirements of applying to enter the UK for the Games.
If you are coming to the UK to watch the Games, you may need to get a visa before you travel depending on the passport that you hold and where you currently live.
Games Family Members
If you are an athlete, coach, official or accredited media for the 2012 Games, you will come under the definition to 'Games family member'. As a Games family member, you will be selectively accredited by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and have an official letter from LOCOG confirming this.
You can apply for a multiple-entry visa, known as an Olympic/Paralympic Games visit visa, which is valid from the date of issue until 8 November 2012. This visa enables you to enter the UK to take part in Olympic/Paralympic activities leading up to the 2012 Games. On each visit, you are allowed to remain in the UK for a maximum of 6 months at a time. In order to be eligible to apply for this visa, you must be either:
* A visa national Games family member, who is not working, in the relevant accreditation category code; or
* A non-visa national Games family member, who is not working, but will be staying in the UK for longer than 6 months.
As a Games family member, you must still apply for an Olympic or Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Card through your responsible organisation.
If you are not going to travel to the UK before 30 March 2012, you might be able to enter the UK without a visa.
If you are a visa or non-visa national Games family member, in the relevant accreditation category code, and will be working in the UK, you will need to apply for a visa under the appropriate Tier of the Points Based System.
Members of your family cannot apply for an Olympic/Paralympic Games visit visa. If they wish to enter the UK, they must apply as visitors.
If you are a non-European Economic Area national, and are not accredited, you will need to apply for a visa as a representative of an overseas business to gain entry to the UK for the 2012 Games.
It is clear that applying for entry to the 2012 Games may be daunting in terms of determining the correct method of entry clearance to use and when to apply to ensure that your application is submitted and considered on time. It is therefore advisable to seek the assistance of an immigration solicitor. They can advise you on the correct method of application, the requirements to meet and the completion of your form to help ensure it is submitted in good time.
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