Summary

In order to be eligible to represent a country, an athlete must be a citizen of that country or a permanent resident of that country for at least 3 years. See the section “Applicable WMA Rules” below for the complete rules.

Change of Allegiance

If an athlete has previously competed for one country and wishes to compete for a different country, they must meet the applicable eligibility rules for representing the new country and have change-of-allegiance paperwork on file with WMA at least 30 days prior to the registration deadline for the applicable championship.

Due to the time it takes for each step of the application process to be completed (including a signature from the current country, then a signature from the new country, then finally a signature from the WMA Secretary), it is recommended that athletes begin this process well in advance of the 30-day deadline. In order for the change-of-allegiance to be valid, the application must have reached the final step of the process, and the approved paperwork must be on file with WMA at least 30 days prior to the registration deadline for the applicable championship.

Process:

  1. Download and complete the WMA Change-of-Allegiance Application Form (PDF)
  2. Make copies of the required documents specified on the form and include them with your application
  3. Send the completed form and required documents to the Masters governing body of your current country (the country you wish to change FROM)
  4. Your current country will review your application and forward it to your new country (the country you wish to change TO)
  5. Your new country will review your application and forward it to the WMA Secretary

Applicable WMA Rules

8.

Designation for Competition (IAAF Rule 5 exception)

8.1

An individual shall compete in WMA or Regional championships only for a Country or Territory of which he is a citizen or permanent resident (3 years) unless permitted under Rule 8.3.

8.2

An individual who is a citizen of two Countries or Territories or who has a permanent place of residence (3 years or more) in a Country or Territory of which he is not a citizen, and having not previously competed as a Master Athlete may first compete for the Country or Territory of his choice and shall thereafter compete only for that Country or Territory unless otherwise allowed under Rule 8.3.

8.3

An individual who is a citizen or permanent resident of two Countries or Territories and who has competed for one of those Countries or Territories may thereafter compete for the other Country or Territory, only when changing their citizenship or permanently residing (3 years or more in either case) in the new Country or Territory, and an official written request from the individual to the two Members has been agreed and confirmed in writing by the WMA Secretary.

8.4

The request from the individual shall be forwarded by his present Member to the new Member, the Regional Secretary and WMA. A written agreement by both Members must be sent to the WMA Secretary, who shall confirm or deny the request and notify the Members and the Regional Secretary accordingly. A term of non-eligibility as per the IAAF rules 5.4d (I, ii, iii) may possibly apply to any request.

8.5

An individual granted dispensation under Rule 8.3 requesting a subsequent change in Member status, shall be considered by the WMA Council, on request from their present Member stating all reasons therefor together with evidence from the proposed Member concerned. A term of non-eligibility as per the IAAF rule 5.4e may apply to any such request.

8.6

Where an individual lives temporarily or temporarily works in a country or territory that is not their country or territory of citizenship or permanent residency, and has registered with a Member association for the purpose of competing in that country or territory, they shall not be deemed to be a permanent member of that Member or having changed citizenship, for the purposes of entry into WMA or Regional championships, but must compete for the Country of which they are a citizen or permanent resident.