It looks like the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) has become aware of certain sports not sticking to the rules they laid out around migrant sportsmen, i.e. outside of the EU, and Speedway has been cited as one of them. This means that a host of Australian and American riders, including Chris Holder, Troy Batchelor, and Jason Doyle, and many more, are currently with out a VISA/permit to enter/ride in the UK.
Note: This does not affect their right to race elsewhere in Europe, as the likes of Poland, Sweden, Denmark etc… are all signed up to the Schengen agreement, which unfortunately the UK chose not to.
It is thought that the UKBA are concerned that the doubling-up and guesting rules are not compliant with their rules.
The BSPA are working closely with the UK Visas and Immigration and are determined to ensure that this is all resolved before the start of the season and all riders are here and ready. A statement on their site stated the following:
A number of speedway clubs who employ migrant riders (non-EU) were asked to attend a meeting with UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) this week.
This meeting was a result of a number of regular compliance visits to individual clubs as the employers. There are administrative issues which all parties are keen to resolve before the start of the 2015 British speedway season. The UKVI have offered to hold an operational workshop for club officials to assist them in this complex process.
In the meantime, the BSPA (British Speedway Promoters’ Association) and UKVI remain committed to work towards a satisfactory outcome.
The BSPAs chairman Alex Harkess said: “The UKVI have assured us they will work with us with the aim of ensuring all eligible riders are able to compete in the 2015 season.”
Lets hope this gets resolved soon.