Academic visitor guidance

All academic visitors to the University whose visit lasts for more than 2 weeks must receive a formal invitation from Human Resources prior to commencing their visit. If the visit is for 2 weeks or less, there is no requirement for Human Resources to be notified, unless the visitor requires an official invitation letter to support their visa application. Please ensure that you read these guidance notes before completing the Request for Invitation form as some overseas Academic Visitors may require sponsorship before their visit can commence.

Please note that due to UKVI immigration changes, new immigration rules apply for EU/EEA Academic Visitors visiting the University. Please read the information below and contact the HR Immigration Team or refer to the UKVI website for further guidance.

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. For visits lasting more than 2 weeks, 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 are not eligible for Council Tax exemption as they are not UK registered students.

Although the University is not permitted to pay its Academic Visitors, a contribution to living expenses can be paid. 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:

1. 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.

2. 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. The Bench Fee is a fee paid by the visitor at the School/Department’s discretion for use of the University’s resources. On the Request for Invitation form, please complete the amount to be paid and the charge code of the hosting department. Please note it is the Department’s responsibility to liaise with the Finance Office to raise an invoice. The different methods of payment should be made clear to the visitor by the hosting department once they arrive.

Please complete the Request for Invitation form and ensure that a copy of the visitor’s CV is attached. The purpose of the visit, for example, whether the visitor will conducting independent research or engaging in collaborative research should be clearly stated on the form. The completed form and CV should be emailed to the Recruitment Team. Please allow 2 working weeks for the invitation letter to be produced. Once the Invitation letter has been finalised, it will be e-mailed directly to the visitor using the e-mail contact provided on the form. A copy of the invitation letter will also be sent to the host academic and the School/Department Administrator. A right to work check must be conducted by Human Resources prior to the Academic Visitor commencing their visit at the University.

Please note that Academic Visitors will not have access to my.HR for the duration of their visit at the University. If the visitor requires their address or phone number to be updated, they should contact Human Resources with their new contact details for their record to be updated.

Overseas visitors

For detailed information on visitor visa routes for overseas nationals who may require a visa for their academic visit, please refer to the HR Immigration webpages. 

Student Visitors

Overseas students cannot be invited as Academic Visitors by Human Resources.

If overseas students are entering the UK for a short-term research project for up to 6 months, they can apply to be a Visiting Student. If they are studying and registering on a course for more than 6 months, Student visa sponsorship is required (please see the Academic Registry Admissions Office guidance, which is linked below). 

If the visitor is currently registered for a PhD at an overseas institution, it may be possible for the Doctoral College Office to invite the overseas student as a Visiting Research Students for up to 12 months. Further information can be obtained from the Doctoral College Office, please see the email below. 


Academic Visitors are invited to review the Student Accommodation Centre, at the University for advice on obtaining accommodation.

Doctoral College Office