Hibs work permit stance on new signings as club 'planning for likely outcome'

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Hibs are still playing a waiting game regarding work permits for new signings Momodou Bojang, Jair Tavares, and Élie Youan.

The trio are yet to make their competitive debuts for the Easter Road side after signing earlier this summer amid delays with their official documents.

Gambian striker Bojang’s paperwork could be completed this week, which would allow the player to travel to Scotland from his homeland to link up with his new team-mates in Edinburgh.

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Hibs had hoped to have the forward with them in Portugal at their pre-season training camp but were unable to include him in the travelling squad.

Portuguese winger Jair Tavares and French striker Élie Youan were involved in the Algarve but are also awaiting the green light on their own paperwork, although both have been able to travel to Scotland and are in the country.

Tavares took in the 5-0 Premier Sports Cup opening win against Clyde from the stand, meeting fans before the game, while Youan is understood to have returned to the Capital earlier this week.

Despite the delays, which are affecting numerous clubs around the world, Hibs remain broadly confident of having all their new signings available for the start of the Scottish Premiership campaign on July 30.

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Work permits operate on a points-based system, with criteria considered including international appearances, minutes played in the player’s domestic league, and minutes played outwith the player’s domestic league. The ranking of the league the player is signed from also has an impact on points.

Jair Tavares is in Scotland but unable to play as he waits for his paperwork to be completedJair Tavares is in Scotland but unable to play as he waits for his paperwork to be completed
Jair Tavares is in Scotland but unable to play as he waits for his paperwork to be completed

Players require a governing body endorsement (GBE) from the Scottish FA – and if they don’t meet the criteria, clubs can appeal through the SFA’s Exceptions Panel – but it is the second stage of the process involving the Home Office that can lead to lengthy delays in players getting the all-clear.

Speaking last week, Hibs manager Lee Johnson said: "It's difficult times in the land of immigration; there's a big workload for Home Offices all over the world.

"You used to be able to fast-track things by paying an extra fee but you can't at the moment, with the state the world is in.

"It's everywhere, we're trying to pull in all sorts of favours at the moment.”

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