Frequently Asked Questions

International Clearance: Frequently Asked Questions

Who is covered by the Regulation?

The Regulation relates only to players – it does not relate to coaches, referees, administrators or others.

Does it only cover professional rugby?

No. The Regulation covers all levels of the game from professional players through to the grassroots, though additional restrictions may apply in respect of professional players (termed under the Regulation “Contract Players”).

Does this mean that I need Clearance to play in reserve team rugby?

Yes, the Reserve Leagues are organised by Scottish Rugby and you will need Clearance to play in these.

Can I play “friendly matches” without Clearance?

Scottish Rugby insists on Clearance if you want to play in competitions organised, recognised or sanctioned by our Union. This includes our league and cup competitions, and also the likes of organised Sevens tournaments. If you want to only play in the odd scratch fixture, Clearance will not be required. Other Unions may operate a slightly different policy and if you are leaving Scotland to play elsewhere you are advised to check with your new Club / Union.

I’m only moving for a short period – do I still have to seek Clearance?

Unless you are a student or a member of the armed forces (where you may be able to Dual Register) you will need to seek Clearance if you are planning to play in any competitions organised by another Union.

Can I register to play in more than one Union?

Full time students and those in the armed services may apply to be Dual Registered, which allows them to play in two Unions (e.g. at University in Scotland during Term time and back home during the rest of the year). Please see the Dual Registration section of our website for more detail.

My club is going on Tour – do I need Clearance?

No. Clearance is not required for club tours but your club will need “Permission to Tour”.

Why are clubs requested to seek approval for a clearance to be processed?

Research indicates that not all clubs understand the UK immigration rules surrounding incoming players. The new requirement - which was introduced on 1 July 2016 - aims to reduce the risk of clubs inadvertantly bringing in players who are not entitled to "work" as rugby players in the UK.

On what grounds can my clearance request be refused?

A request for Clearance will not be granted if:

  • The incoming players' Scottish club has not completed and returned a Request for Scottish Rugby to Process Incoming Clearance.
  • You are to recieve payment or benefits from playing the game in Scotland and you do not have the requisite visa entry requirements.
  • You have contractual obligations with your current club which would prevent this (NB see WR Regulation 4.5.2 with regard to the required form of any player agreement); or
  • You are serving a disciplinary suspension of greater than 5 weeks. If you are serving a suspension of 5 weeks or less your clearance will generally be granted on the proviso that the remaining unexpired part of your sanction is to be served in your new Union.

What are the consequences if I play whilst not cleared to do so?

The circumstances may be investigated by our Championship Committee and a points deduction or other penalty may be applied to your club. Separately, the Discipline Manager may decide to initiate misconduct proceedings against you and / or your club.

Any Further Questions?

Please email your question to [email protected] .