International teams urged to check visas before Glasgow world cycling championship

Louise Crichton (Thorntons)

WITH ONLY four weeks until the UCI Cycling World Championships gets underway in Glasgow, immigration lawyers at leading Scottish law firm Thorntons are urging international riders and their teams to ensure they have the appropriate visa clearance.

Louise Crichton, senior solicitor in Thorntons’ immigration and visas team, spoke out after President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), David Lappartient, voiced concerns over visas.

The official raised the issue in a letter to all affiliated National Federations last month after it emerged a large number had not yet applied.

Competitors and support teams hailing from countries outside of Canada, the USA, and the EU – whose nationals are considered to be “non-visa nationals” – can enter the UK on a Standard Visitor visa.

To obtain a Standard Visitor visa individuals must make an online application, pay the application fee and then attend a biometric appointment. Processing then takes approximately three further weeks.

Louise Crichton said: “As a firm we are deeply invested in Glasgow and we’re all looking forward to seeing the world’s greatest cyclists competing in the city.

“However, for the UCI Cycling World Championships to be a successful event they need the world’s greatest riders to be able to travel to the UK to compete.

“The earliest you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa is three months before travelling – but time is running out for anyone who has left it to the last minute, as it takes around three weeks from an applicant’s first biometric appointment. Although there may be an option to pay for the priority service to obtain a quicker decision this is not guaranteed.

“Travellers who aren’t sure of requirements can consult the UK Government’s website and speak to specialist lawyers if they need advice.

“The National Federations have their work cut out for them in ensuring that their athletes have secured the right visa to allow them to compete.”

The UCI Cycling World Championships take place Thursday 3 August – Sunday 13 August 2023.

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