Focus on visas - the application process

There are three main visa types for international staff working at the University.

  1. Global Talent: for those considered to be a leader, or future leader, in their field
  2. Skilled Worker: for skilled workers with an employment contract
  3. Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5)for researchers who have financial sponsorship

The process varies, but is broadly as follows.

Getting a Certificate of Sponsorship from the University

Skilled Worker and Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (T5)

Your School will liaise with you to get the information they need to allow the University to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to you. Once this is done, a copy will be emailed to you with information you will need when you complete your visa application form and notes on next steps.

Once you have the CoS, you should then apply for your visa.

Applying for endorsement

Global Talent

Applying for Global Talent has two stages:

  1. Applying for endorsement
  2. Applying for a visa

You can choose from five 'paths' when you apply for endorsement - please visit our 'Focus on visas - Global Talent Visa' page for more information.   

Submitting your visa application

Once you have your CoS, or your endorsement has been confirmed, you should apply for your visa.  Please note that you cannot apply more than 3 months before the start date of your job.

Applications must be made online; the appropriate link will depend on which visa type you apply for, and from where (within the UK or overseas). This will also determine the cost of the application fee.

You may need some or all of the following before you submit your visa application:

  • Proof that you have a sufficient knowledge of the English language (see link or download below for more information)
  • An Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for jobs in certain fields (this is currently required for students, and is being introduced for anyone who submits a visa application from 21 May 2021)
  • A tuberculosis test result if you are from a listed country
  • A criminal record certificate for certain jobs

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

You may have to pay the IHS as part of your visa application:

  • for more than 6 months, if you’re applying outside the UK
  • for any length of time, if you’re applying inside the UK

The current cost (as at April 2021) is £624 per year of the visa. For example, if you are applying for a 3 year visa, the IHS charge will be £1,872. This cost must be paid when you apply for your visa, and any family members will also need to pay this (there is a reduced rate for children).

You can use the IHS checker to find out if you will need to pay. 

If you are liable for the IHS, you will need to pay it even if you have private medical insurance. 

Biometric appointments

Note: not applicable to EEA/Swiss nationals with a biometric passport 

If your visa is for more than 6 months, you will need to attend a biometric appointment in your country of application. Once you submit your visa application, you will be able to book an appointment at a VAC (overseas Visa Application Centre) or UKVCAS (UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services) centre. You must attend a biometric appointment within 45 days of paying for your visa application. If you do not book an appointment, you will be sent a reminder which will allow further a specified number of days to enrol. If biometrics are not enrolled within the specified period your visa application may be rejected.

The UK government is aware of difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and are generally understanding if an appointment is not available within 45 days. However, you should attend an appointment as soon as you can.

Travelling to the UK (if applicable) and starting work

If you are coming to Leeds from overseas, you should not travel outside the validity period of your entry clearance permission.

  • Non-EEA/Swiss nationals, and EEA/Swiss nationals who do not have a biometric passport, will receive an entry clearance vignette (sticker) in their passport which will have "valid from" and "valid to" dates.
  • EEA/Swiss nationals who have a biometric passport will be able to access their details electronically.

If you are already in the UK, you can start work once you have confirmation from UK Visas and Immigration that your visa application has been granted. 

All staff must provide right to work documents to the University before starting work.

If you have any queries, please contact your HR hub or email Staff Immigration.