International Clearance

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HOW IT WORKS – REQUESTING A FIFA INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER CERTIFICATE

1.    FIFA Regulations governing the Status and Transfer of Players require National Associations to issue an International Transfer Certificate for any player over the age of 12 who is moving from one National Association to another including UK borders. It is absolutely essential to make exhaustive checks on the player and not to accept his/her word that they have permission. Breaches are dealt with under the provisions of FA Rule E. 1 (b) and E. 1 (d). 

IF A PLAYER IS UNDER THE AGE OF 18, CLEARANCE WILL BE SUBJECT TO FIFA ARTICLE 19 (see footnote).

2.    The Association which a player is leaving will issue the International Registration Transfer Certificate to the National Association to which the player is moving.  FOR CLUBS IN THE FA PREMIER LEAGUE, THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE AND THE FOOTBALL CONFERENCE (NATIONAL DIVISION): This is now only allowed within 2 transfer windows in a year – from 9th June up to the 31st August (unless notified) and for the month of January expiring 31st January inclusive (unless notified).

3.    The receiving Association shall make a request for an International Transfer Certificate to the issuing Association. In order to identify a player correctly the request should include the player’s full name, date and place of birth and the name of the Club for which he was last registered together with written confirmation that the Club wishes to register the player.

IT IS NOW A REQUIREMENT TO SUBMIT A COPY OF THE PLAYER’S PASSPORT AND/OR NATIONAL ID CARD.

4.    An Association, having received a request from another Association, is obliged to issue an International Transfer Certificate providing the player is not under written contract to a Club (as a non-amateur player), is not suspended from football for disciplinary reasons (unless up to a maximum of four matches), and has fulfilled all obligations to the former Club.

5.    Clubs and/or players seeking International Clearance should make a request in writing to the Registrations Department of The Football Association.  The request may be faxed direct to the Department on 0844 980 0663.  Emails can be sent to: registrations@thefa.com.  Clubs and players may be required to complete a questionnaire. There are two versions of the application form – one for the United States and one for all other National Associations.

6.    The Football Association will ask the National Association concerned via fax for an International Transfer Certificate.  This will be done by email in the event of a fax facility not being available.

7.    When an International Transfer Certificate has been issued to this Association the Club and/or player will be notified by fax, telephone, e-mail or letter by the Registrations Department.  Until notification has been received the player may NOT be registered or play for a Club in England at any level.

8.    Such a player may NOT play in a competitive fixture at any level in England until an International Transfer Certificate has been received and registration has been accepted by a League and/or this Association. Letters from National Associations and Clubs are NOT sufficient to enable a player to play competitive football.

9.    Players may train or play in ‘behind closed doors’ friendly matches without International Clearance.  However, in these circumstances, the Club should have the permission of the player’s former Club and confirmation that the player is not under suspension.  For friendly matches played in public the written permission of the other National Association is required.

10.    Should The Football Association not receive an International Registration Transfer Certificate, or a reply stating a reason why this is not being issued within 30 days of the request, then a provisional clearance can be issued.

11.    FIFA Regulations governing the Status and Transfer of Players are published in The Football Association Handbook.

The definition of amateur is now contained in the Home Office Visitor guidance which is on their website - Immigration Directorate Instructions Chapter 2.  

http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/IDIs/idischapter2/

Section 2.8 is the relevant part that might help you.  One off charity events are clearly OK for amateur players admitted as visitors.  Whilst the 'in front of a fee-paying crowd' aspect is not recorded the Home Office see this as one (though by no means the only) illustration of when a club is professional in that they operate for profit gained by charging for events.

13.    It must be appreciated that delays do occur when requesting International Clearance from other National Associations.  When a request is made to ourselves by a Club or player this is faxed as soon as possible, usually the same day, to the other National Association concerned. We are then in their hands as to how quickly, or slowly, a reply is made.  This Association gets as exasperated as Clubs and Players when delays occur, especially as we strive to conclude cases as quickly as possible.  Please be aware of the following FIFA Regulation:

If the new association does not receive a response to the ITC request within 30 days, it shall immediately register the amateur with the new club on a provisional basis (“provisional registration”).  A provisional registration shall become permanent one year after the ITC request.  The Players’ Status Committee may withdraw a provisional registration, if, during this one-year period, the former association presents valid reasons explaining why it did not respond to the ITC request.

IT IS STRONGLY ADVISED THAT OTHER NATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS ARE NOT CONTACTED DIRECTLY AS, IN OUR EXPERIENCE, THIS ONLY DELAYS THE REQUEST BEING DEALT WITH.  ANY REPEAT APPLICATIONS SHOULD COME THROUGH THIS ASSOCIATION.               

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