Player Eligibility and Restrictions

Work Permit Criteria

There are work permit criteria for players coming to the UK.

The common factors are:

  • the player must be professional
  • the player must have played in 75% of competitive games, where he was available for selection, during the last complete season immediately prior to the start date of the season where the player is seeking to come to the UK

(for example the season ends March/April '13 and the player wants to play in UK season starting September '13)

There are then additional definitions of acceptable leagues in which those defined games must have been played. If the team does not feature in the leagues listed below, it is not classed as an acceptable professional league.

Players coming to UK from Canadian or USA teams

  • National Hockey League (NHL)
  • American Hockey League (AHL)
  • East Coast Hockey League (ECHL)
  • Central Hockey League (CHL)
  • United Hockey League (UHL)

Steve Munn stops the Panthers' Jade Galbraith



Players coming to UK from European teams

European Country Top professional league 2nd professional league  
Czech Republic Czech Extra Liga 1st Liga World Seniors
Denmark Oddset Ligean    
Finland SM Liiga Mestis  
Italy Serie A    
Latvia Latvian Championship    
Slovenia Interliga    
Switzerland National Liga A National Liga B  
Slovakia T-Com Extra Liga 1st Liga  
Sweden Elitserien All Svenskan  
Ukraine Premier League 1st League  
Russia PHL Suer Liga (see note)  
Belarus Pressbol Championship    
Kazakhstan Karagunda Liga    
Norway UPC Ligaen 1st Division  
France Ligue Magnus Division 1 World Seniors division 1
Germany DEL 1st Bundesliga  
Hungary Borsodi    
Austria Erste Bank EHL National Liga  
Estonia Eesti MV    
Lithuania Lithuanian National Championship    
Netherlands Tricorp Workwear Eredivisie Eerste Divisie  
Poland Ekstra Liga 1st Liga  
Note: Russia does have a 3rd professional league:
Higher League East and
Higher League West
Olympics/World Championship players

Players who have represented their country in the Olympics or the World Championship and have played 75% of competition games for IIHF World Championship Seniors national side (the first 14 countries in the list above) within 12 months prior to a work permit application will satisfy the criteria.
So for example, a player who has appeared in the required number of games for Russia in the Olympics will qualify.