Following a meeting on the 10th December 2018 between representatives of the HPA, the AAP, and the English and Argentine Players’ Associations, a statement was released detailing the group’s immediate priorities with regard to the current visa restrictions.
-Secure an extension to the 2018 criteria allowing non-EEA grooms to work in the UK for the 2019 season.
-Seek an agreement to allow non-EEA players with a valid visa for 15 goal and above to play 12 and 8 goal polo with their employers.
-Engage with the Home Office to develop an application process for appropriately qualified non-EEA polo players to work with clubs in the UK to coach and help to develop the game at grassroots level.
The group is pleased to announce that all those objectives have now been achieved, such that:
-An extension to the 2018 criteria for non-EEA grooms in 2019 was granted in December.
-An agreement has been reached to allow as a trial non-EEA players with a valid visa for 15 goal and above to play 12 and 8 goal polo as well with their employers.*
-The Home Office have agreed to discuss with the HPA the application process for non-EEA coaches when the criteria is reviewed in the summer.
* The trial is for the upcoming English season. The players may only play with their 15-goal or above employer and not with any other patron/team.
David Woodd from the HPA commented
“Our continued engagement with the Home Office has delivered further progress to reduce the current restrictions in place for non-EEA players. The 8 and 12 goal tournaments are an important level of polo here in the UK and allowing non-EEA players to play with their patrons should encourage an increase in entries, create more opportunities for players and strengthen our sport at these levels.”
Eduardo Novillo Astrada from the AAP commented
“I welcome the trial. Significant progress has been made in achieving our immediate priorities with regard to the current visa restrictions. These developments are an important step forward”.