How to Apply
Applications for entry under this route cannot be made from inside the UK.
For visitor visas, not all nationalities are required to apply for a visa in advance of travelling to the UK. Please see the table below for full details:
(See link for full list of nationalities)
If the individual needs to make a visitor visa application in advance of coming to the UK, they will need to submit the following documents when making an application:
- Original, valid passport
- One passport sized photograph
- Documents confirming financial and residential status
- Visitor invitation letter from the hosting department/institution (see guidance below)
- Academics seeking entry on a 12 month visa will also require a letter from their current employer on official headed paper, detailing the period of their sabbatical, exchange or outlining the research to be undertaken.
Please see the UKVI Guide to supporting documents for full details of the documentary requirements.
If the individual is a non-visa national seeking entry at the border for a visit to the UK, they will need to carry all of the above documentation except the passport photograph.
When determining who to invite, individual departments/institutions may adopt their own criteria in order to identify suitable visitors which best meet their local academic needs. Where persons being invited are not known personally to members of staff in the department, caution is advisable. For example, it is strongly recommended that you ensure that the overseas academic Institution of the visitor exists and that the visitor is definitely employed there, as well as having a clear understanding of the purpose of the visit for both parties.
In all cases (if a visa is required in advance or not), individuals who wish to visit the University to undertake one of the permissible activities must be issued with an invitation letter. The University has produced a template letter that you can use as required. The invitation letter is required:
- To help the individual gain entry clearance/leave to enter (if seeking entry at the UK border)
- To set out clearly to the visiting individual and the Immigration Officer the purpose of the visit and that is meets one of the permissible activities.
If you require help with drafting the invitation letter, please contact your departmental administrator or the Compliance Team.
For individuals attending a job interview, the invitation to interview letter will be sufficient and an additional letter will not be required.
For those indivduals who apply for a visitor visa from outside the UK, the cost will be £85 for a visa of 6 months or less. For an Academic visitor visa of 6 months to 12 months, the cost will be £162. Dependants of visitors will pay the same fee as the main applicant.
For non-visa nationals seeking entry at the border, there is no additional cost.
Applications for a Standard (Visitor ) visa are not subject to the NHS Immigration Surcharge, even where they are issued for longer than 6 months.
Individuals refused a visitor visa will have no right of appeal and would be expected to make a further visitor application, addressing the reasons for refusal. An administrative review of the application may be possible - full details will be provided by UKVI at the point of refusal. An administrative review costs £80 to intitiate. If the review is granted, this is refunded. If the review is refused, the fee is not refunded.
In the event of visa refusal please contact the Compliance Team for further guidance.