What is International Clearance (ITC)? Including Minor Applications

International clearance is required for any player from the age of 10 and upwards who is seeking to register for a Club in England and has previously been registered for a Club abroad (including the other Home Associations), or who is a foreign national seeking to register for the first time in this country. 

Applications for players under the age of 18 (minor) must be applied for in accordance with FIFA Article 19, which states that the international movement of players is only permitted if the player is over the age of 18. Under this Regulation there are four exceptions – three of which are available for Clubs at amateur level – whereby Clubs can apply for international clearance.

The following exceptions apply either where the player has previously played for a Club abroad (international transfer), or where the player has not previously played abroad (first registration): 

Article 19.2a) Player’s parents moving to England for non-footballing reasons.

Article 19.2c) Player’s residence is within 50km of national border of Club with which they wish to register and Club is within 50km of national border of country where player resides.

The following exception applies only where the player has not previously played abroad: 

Article 19 par. 3 and 4 “5 Year Rule” Player is registering for the first time and has lived in England continuously for the last five years prior to the request  

To apply for a minor application, clubs must complete the ITC APPLICATION FORM and select Minor under ‘Application Type’ to submit a Minor application and apply for an ITC for a Minor player. 

We will then submit a formal request through the FIFA TMS system, at which point the National Association firstly has to confirm that the player exists in their records, before we can request the ITC. At this stage, if there are any errors in the player’s details, the former NA may reject the player and this may cause delays.

Once requested, the former Association has a limited period in which to make the relevant checks and issue the ITC. If the ITC is not issued within this period (7 days for an adult ITC; 30 days for futsal), and no objections are received, then we are able to issue a provisional clearance. However if there are any issues, such as a current registration with the former club, the ITC may be rejected, therefore please do not assume, even if the timeframe for a provisional clearance to be issued has passed, that the player is able to play.

The rationale behind the Regulations is primarily to protect the wellbeing of young players and ensure they are not being transferred purely for the purposes of football, and to avoid circumstances where they might end up unaccompanied and at risk in a foreign country. FIFA are particularly alert to the possibility that the amateur route may be utilised by professional clubs, or amateur clubs with links to a professional club, in order to circumvent the more rigorous requirements of Article 19 which apply to professional clubs.

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