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How to improve your chances of landing a work permit in Football Manager 2021

Work permit in Football Manager 2021 Brexit

As the head coach of your chosen team in Football Manager 2021, you might find one thing very confusing indeed: work permits. Work permits have become a challenge for the British football leagues, limiting the number of players they can sign from abroad.


Found a young youth star from Ghana at a cost of just £50k? He might not pass the work permit test. Here are some ideas to get around that.

Whatever your political leanings, we can probably all agree that the work permit issue in Football Manager 2021 is a headache. The British exit from the European Union is complete, and in January 2021 everything changed. 

Now, the days of being able to pick up players based in EU nations without having to get a work permit are over; trying to sign someone from Germany comes with all the same challenges now as trying to someone from Guinea.

Naturally, this will make squad development tougher. Should you just focus on players based on good old Blighty, then? Absolutely not!

With these simple tips, you might be able to snag a work permit moving forward.
 

Be smart about who you sign


So, the first thing to note is the game's interpretation of the rules can be somewhat hazy. 

Given that the developers of FM21 like to be quite political with their inclusions, there are some pretty hefty downsides to Brexit in the simulator. You need to keep that in mind; while in past versions of FM, you could end up with some nice outcomes that barely impacted you, this time it won’t be quite as simple as that.

So, at the moment, you have to think about the kind of nationality you are trying to sign. If you are trying to sign a non-fully fledged international for a player in a national team outside of the Top 50, you are playing with fire. 

For example, a player who is playing for an international team ranked 31st to 50th in the rankings will need to have played 75% of their nations matches over the past two years.

Naturally, this more or less rules out signing players from smaller nations and from those that are not seeing sustained success. That is likely to cause some pretty serious issues regarding bringing in talent outside of the ‘big’ leagues.

So, you should probably try and focus on the fact that you will need to see players playing regular international football at senior level. Even teams in the top 1-10, for example, will need to have seen the player take part in 30% of the national sides matches over the last two years. Given the standard of the top 10 national teams, anyone doing that is probably going to be on close to six figures per week!

The new work permit rules are a nightmare, so you should try and focus on targeting players with a higher chance of success; even on appeal now, you are very unlikely to get a positive response.
 

Think about a loan club


Another decent way to get a player ready for a work permit is to get yourself a feeder club that you could loan them out to. For example, you could look for a team in the lower leagues of the English football system, or a team up in Scotland. The player can then be farmed out to your affiliate for the years needed to get them the citizenship that is required to avoid needing a work permit.

In past editions of FM, this was easier. You could build a feeder system with a team in Belgium, for example, and send your player there. The lax rules for gaining Belgian nationality meant that it was very easy to loan a starlet out there for a year or two and see how they progress as well as getting them the citizenship needed. 

Since an EU nation no longer counts as eligible, you need to find a feeder club that is based in the United Kingdom. Then, you need to find a team that is both willing to help out, and a team that is good enough that your loan starlets will actually accept dropping down to them.

Feeder Club Affiliate Football Manager 2021

All of this can become a proper headache, making it needlessly hard for you to manage crucial parts of the process. Buying and loaning players out to get them a work permit now is about timing, precision, and no shortage of luck.

While there is nothing that you can do to game the system like we used to be able to, you can definitely still sign players from the rest of the world if you can find a suitable place to fatten them up and earn them citizenship.

You could remove the problem…


Of course, you might simply get sick of dealing with the headache that is work permits. 

With that being the case, head on over to the Steam Workshop and you can download a No Brexit/Work Permit file. This will remove the need for you to haggle with the Home Office to sign that wonderkid you’ve found. This can be very useful indeed for making sure that you can no longer deal with the stressful problem that comes with handling work permits.

Since managing in the UK is one of the few nations in the FM database that forces you to handle the work permit issue, you might wish to try and make some changes quickly to get over the issue. If you find that working in the sphere of work permits is ruining your ability to have fun within the game, you should absolutely look to simply remove the problem from the equation.

Some of us enjoy juggling around such challenges, whereas others want to play with a much more enjoyable, free-flowing simulation. Whatever you choose, though, hopefully, you are now in a position where you can start building something like the squad you intended.

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FM BLOG: How to improve your chances of landing a work permit in Football Manager 2021
How to improve your chances of landing a work permit in Football Manager 2021
Found a young youth star from Ghana at a cost of just £50k? He might not pass the work permit test. Here are some ideas to get around that in FM21.
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