Reevaldo: Work permits in the UK

In order for foreign football players to play in the UK, they need to obtain a work permit. The Home Office is ultimately responsible for issuing UK work permits.

In 2015, The FA reformed the work permit system with a view of ensuring that only the best non-EU foreign players would be granted permission to play in the UK.

In order to secure a work permit from the Home Office, a footballer's employer must first receive a Governing Body Endorsement (“GBE”), for that player from The FA.

How does a player obtain a GBE? What criteria is taken into account? Is the process objective or subjective?

This Reevaldo post details the whole process and takes you through how a work permit is obtained.

If you’re interested in knowing more about work permits, please also see this article published in Law in Sport in April 2015 by Carol Couse and Tiran Gunawardena. 

The sports team at Mills & Reeve have successfully helped foreign footballers navigate The FA and Home Office work permit process. If you require assistance with this or would like to know more information, please contact Carol

Carol Couse
Tiran Gunawardena

Our content explained

Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.


Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.
My Mills & Reeve navigation
Subscribe to, or manage your My Mills & Reeve account.
My M&R


Register for My M&R to stay up-to-date with legal news and events, create brochures and bookmark pages.

Existing clients

Log in to your client extranet for free matter information, know-how and documents.


Mills & Reeve system for employees.