Focus on visas - Visitors

If you are coming to the University but not as an employee or a student, there are three potential immigration routes for which you could apply: Visitor, Permitted Paid Engagement or Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange (T5).

Each immigration route has strict rules on what you can do and how long you can stay in the UK.

You can download more detailed information at the bottom of this page, and you may find the following Home Office links useful:

Standard Visitor (including business and academic visitors)

Under the Standard Visitor immigration route, you can:

  • take part in research or an exchange programme as an academic
  • undertake certain business activities, for example attending a meeting
  • have a holiday or visit your family and friends (tourism)
  • do a short course of recreational study
  • receive private medical treatment

You cannot:

  • be employed in the UK, whether paid or unpaid
  • be paid by any UK source, apart from reasonable expenses to cover the cost of your travel and subsistence
  • be self-employed
  • do a work placement or internship
  • provide goods and/or services
  • claim state benefits ('no access to public funds')
  • study for more than 6 months

Permitted Paid Engagement

You may be eligible for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa if you:

  • are invited by the University as an expert in your field; and
  • want to come to the UK to do specific paid work without having to be sponsored under the points-based visa system, and
  • are staying for no longer than 1 month

You can:

  • be a student examiner or assessor
  • take part in selection panels as a highly qualified academic
  • give lectures, as long as these don not amount to a part-time or full-time role
  • take part in arts, entertainment or sporting activities including broadcasting
  • do minor activities related to your work or business overseas, such as attend meetings

You cannot:

  • do paid work unrelated to your main job or area of expertise at home, other than what is allowed by your visa
  • extend this visa or switch to another visa while you are in the UK
  • live in the UK for extended periods
  • get public funds (benefits)
  • bring family members (‘dependents’) with you on your application - they must apply separately

Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange (T5)

This immigration route is for researchers (which includes academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists) who are financially sponsored to come to the UK to collaborate with colleagues at the University for up to 2 years.

You will need visa sponsorship from the University. Your funding must meet UK National Minimum Wage, and this cannot be in the form of savings and/or loans from family/friends.

You can:

  • work in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job for up to 20 hours per week, as long as it is on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list or in the same profession as your substantive role
  • study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate)
  • apply to change (‘switch’) to a Global Talent visa without having to leave the UK if you wish

You cannot:

  • take a permanent job, even at the end of your visa
  • get public funds