Once an athlete has purchased an FIE license, the nationality on their license is fixed and can only be changed in limited circumstances.

The rules around changing representational nationality are set by the FIE and information is available on the FIE website.  (Chapter 9.2 of the FIE Statutes and Chapter 1.4 of the FIE Administrative Rules).

Additional rules exist around Nationality changes for the Olympics, athletes should contact headoffice@britishfencing.com for more information.)

Under certain circumstances athletes may apply to change their nationality. Typically (except in limited cases eg marriage) there is a 3 year waiting period where athletes must not fence in any FIE competition.

It is possible for this period to be reduced provided all parties – original federation, new federation, athlete (or guardian in the case of U18s) agree.

Once an athlete has made one nationality change there are no current circumstances under which they are permitted to change again.

BF will consider all requests to waive or reduce the three year period from athletes wishing to change nationalities.

In the event that BF agree to reduce the waiver period, athletes will have restrictions with regards to participation in FIE events for that waiver period.


Changing from GBR to another nation

GBR athletes that have benefitted from public funded talent and performance programmes and have represented GBR at the highest level (eg World/European Championships) within the last 3 years are unlikely to have requests to waive or reduce the waiting period granted.

Athletes that have only represented at FIE World Cups or Grand Prix’s should still expect to serve a portion of the waiting time.

Athletes that have changed nationality or are in the process of changing/waiting are not permitted to benefit from public funded BF programmes and services that are intended for GBR athletes. Therefore any formal participation in these programmes will cease and the athlete will no longer be eligible for related subsidies.

The process to change nationality is as follows:

  1. Athletes must contact the new Federation themselves, enclosing a valid copy of the passport of the country they are requesting a change to. The new Federation may have it’s own internal procedure to follow in dealing with such applications.
  2. Athletes should write a formal letter to BF requesting a change and the waiting period to be reduced/waived. They must enclose a valid copy of the passport of the country they are requesting a change to.
  3. BF write to the new Federation and the FIE, enclosing the athlete’s letter, agreeing to the change and any reduction in the waiting period (if applicable). The FIE may request a copy of the passport from BF if the new Federation have not supplied it.
  4. The new Federation must also write to the FIE requesting the change – enclosing a valid copy of the passport of the country they are requesting a change to.
  5. The FIE then processes the change and may request more information from the athlete




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