Rangers are about to kick-off their 2013-14 season & throughout the preparation for the season there has been one noticeable absence from the squad. Honduran international Arnold Peralta’s absence had been a mystery until recently.
Was it lingering effects from the injury that knocked him out of the World Cup? Was it an extended honeymoon with his new bride?
When Rangers Report asked the question – ¿Dónde en el mundo es Arnold Peralta? – the answer came the next day – from Peralta himself…
His wife also took to Twitter – to express her husband’s love for Rangers – posting this photo with the hashtags that made the message clear.
Arnold Peralta loves being part of Rangers.
Ally McCoist addressed Peralta’s absence on the eve of the match with Hibs.
McCoist told The Evening Times, “The mystery that is Peralta is definitely coming back, but I can’t give you a definite on when.”
“He’s been in Paris trying to sort a visa. That’s where he is at the moment and we’re waiting.”
“The good news is that he’s fit – the health issues are long gone. It’s just location issues.”
“We are in dialogue with him, we haven’t left him. He just needs to get his visa sorted and that of his girlfriend’s.”
“He needs the visa for the work permit. It’s not getting it that’s the problem – it’s the delay that’s the issue.”
The work permit rules for foreign footballers playing in the UK are well known. According to STV Sport, “For the SFA to give their approval, the player in question must have played 75 per cent of his nation’s competitive games – excluding friendlies – in the two years prior to the date of application.”
“Furthermore, the country the player is coming from must be in the top 70 of Fifa’s rankings. Failure to meet these requirements, unless it can be proven a player was unavailable for selection for a period of time, results in an automatic rejection of any application for an SFA endorsement for a work permit certificate of sponsorship.”
Of course, Peralta already was rewarded a work permit to play last season for Rangers. Does he have to renew that visa each year? An inquiry has been sent to the SFA on this matter.
The only evident hiccup in the process that could be hindering Peralta’s return may come down to the strict policy requiring foreign players to learn English.
The length of time a player can remain in the UK as a player depends on his grasp of the English language. There are two immigration statuses available to a player applying for a work permit: tier two and tier five.
Under tier two, a player can remain in the UK for an initial three years, with the possibility for an extension for a further two years. To qualify, the player must accrue 70 immigration points under the Home Office’s system. 50 are given for getting an FA endorsement, with 10 more given for being able to prove sufficient funding to remain in the country.
The final 10 are awarded on the basis of the player’s English. If the applicant comes from a predominantly English-speaking country, or has a degree from a course which was taught in English, the 10 points are subsequently awarded. Additionally, a player can sit an approved English language test upon their arrival in the UK to obtain tier two status.
Failing that, a player can apply for tier five status. Again, a certificate of sponsorship and proof of sponsorship is required but a visa is only valid for one year. However, the player can then sit an English language test within that year and apply to switch to tier two status.
Is it fair to speculate that Peralta’s return to Rangers been held up as he attempts to pass the English language test? We shall see…