Human Resources

Immigration (Right to Work)

Academic Visitor guidance and request for invite form

All academic visitors to the University whose visit lasts for more than 2 weeks must receive a formal invitation from Human Resources prior to their visit. Please ensure that you read the guidance notes before completing the Request for Invite Letter form as some academic visitors from outside the UK/EEA may require sponsorship before their visit can commence.

For any academic visitors coming with school-aged children, please refer to Living in the UK in the sidebar for full information/guidance on applying for a school place. 

1. Procedure for inviting Academic Visitors

Academic visitors tend to be members of academic staff from other universities who come to the University to collaborate in research and other academic activities. It is essential that any invitation is issued by Human Resources and not by the School/Department. This is to ensure that the University complies with immigration regulations.

Please note that Academic Visitors will not be granted access to University computer or library facilities, nor will they be issued with a barrier pass unless they have been formally invited to the University by Human Resources.

Please note that Academic Visitors may only be regarded as students (for the purposes of Council Tax exemption etc) if they are working under supervision for a recognised higher qualification (Masters or Doctorate) at this University.

2. Completing the request for invite letter form

Please ensure that a copy of the visitor’s CV is attached to the completed form.

Although the University is not permitted to pay its Academic Visitors, it may make a contribution to living expenses. This may take the form of paying for accommodation, reimbursing expenditure against receipts or a modest monthly payment (which should not exceed roughly half the average salary that would otherwise be paid to someone with the visitor’s qualifications and experience). There are alternatives, depending on the type of payment due:

A. If the Academic Visitor is to receive regular payments towards their subsistence during their visit which should be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance deductions, the payments will be administered by the Payroll Team who will make the necessary arrangements to operate PAYE correctly.

B. If the Academic Visitor is to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred, such as travel, accommodation and subsistence, a payment should be made by completing an E1 claim form, once the Department has checked the receipts and agreed payment.  This should also apply to any un-receipted expenses.

3. Non-UK/EEA Academic Visitors

a) Visits of up to 12 months without payment from a UK source

It may be appropriate for an Academic Visitor to apply for a Business Visitor visa which will allow them to visit the UK for a period of up to 12 months. This would usually be if they are on sabbatical leave from an overseas academic institution and wanting to carry out research in the UK or are an academic taking part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts. The Visitor should also not be receiving funding from a UK source (except payments of expenses) and should not be engaging in any work other than the academic activity for which they are being admitted.

Further details on Standard Visitor visas can be viewed at the UKVI website.

b) Visits of up to 24 months and/or with payment from a UK source

The Government Authorised Exchange category is for people coming to the UK through approved schemes that aim to share knowledge, experience and best practice.  Academic Visitors can come to the UK as sponsored researchers under this scheme and the University is required to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship under Temporary Worker - Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange Scheme) for visitors outside the UK/EEA on behalf of the visitor.  The individual must then obtain the appropriate visa under Tier 5 to enter and remain in the UK. Further details can be obtained from the UKVI website. Visitors are allowed to stay in the UK for up to 24 months under this category.  If they are in the UK in another immigration category, they cannot apply to extend their stay by switching into the Government Authorised Exchange category. If they are here in the Government Authorised Exchange category, they cannot apply to extend their stay by switching into another immigration category.  In both cases, the Visitor must leave the country before they can apply.

c) Preparing paperwork for a temporary worker – Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange Scheme) Certificate of Sponsorship

Please note that to comply with our UKVI Tier 5 sponsorship duties, we are required to monitor the attendance and movements of any Tier 5 sponsored migrant during the period of their sponsorship.

In addition to the Request for Invite Letter form, the School/Department must also provide the following: A) the visitor’s full overseas home address (including postcode) B)  a scanned copy of the visitor’s passport C) a scanned copy confirming the amount and duration of any financial support eg. Scholarship award or continued employment.

4.  Accommodation

Academic Visitors are invited to contact our Student Accommodation Centre, at the University for advice on obtaining accommodation. Further details are available at

For further guidance please contact the HR Administration Team.