Academic Visitors

Academic Visitors

Academic Visitors

An "Academic Visitor" is a person who is from an overseas academic institution or who is highly qualified within their own field of expertise seeking leave to enter the UK to carry out research and associated activities for their own purposes.  An Academic Visitor is a sub-category of Business Visitor.


A person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a Business Visitor, which includes Academic Visitors, must meet the requirements set out below.

1. The requirements to be met for a general visitor are:

(i) A limited period in the UK, not exceeding 6 months; and

(ii) Intends to leave at the end of the period of the visit; and

(iii) Does not intend to take employment in the United Kingdom; and

(iv) Does not intend to undertake a course of study; and

(v) Will maintain and accommodate her/himself and any dependants adequately out of resources available to her/him without recourse to public funds or taking employment; or will, with any dependants, be maintained and accommodated adequately by relatives or friends; and

(vi) Can meet the cost of the return or onward journey; and

(vii) Does not intend to do any of the activities provided for in paragraph 3 (iii), and

(viii) Does not intend to receive private medical treatment during their visit;

2. The requirements for an extension of stay as a general visitor are:

(i) Meets the requirements of paragraph 1; and

(ii) Has not already spent, or would not as a result of an extension of stay spend, more than 6 months in total in the United Kingdom as a general visitor; and

(iii) Has, or was last granted, entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain as a general visitor or as a child visitor.

3. The requirements for leave to enter as a Business Visitor are:

(i) The individual is genuinely seeking entry as a Business Visitor for a limited period:

     (a) not exceeding 6 months; or

     (b) not exceeding 12 months if seeking entry as an Academic Visitor

(ii) Meets the requirements of paragraph 1

(iii) Intends to do one or more of the following during the visit:

     (a) To carry out a 'Permissible Activity' as defined in paragraph 6;

     (b) To act as an Academic Visitor but only if s/he has been working as an academic in an institution of higher     education overseas, or in the field of their academic expertise immediately prior to seeking entry;

      (c) To act as a Visiting Professor;

      (d) To undertake specific, one-off training in techniques and work practices used in the UK, provided this is not on-the-job training.

4. A person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as an Academic Visitor who does not have entry clearance may, if otherwise eligible, be admitted for a period not exceeding 6 months, subject to a condition prohibiting employment. An Academic Visitor who has entry clearance may be admitted for up to 12 months subject to a condition prohibiting employment.

5. Twelve months is the maximum permitted leave which may be granted to an Academic Visitor and six months is the maximum that may be granted to any other form of Business Visitor.

6. Permissible activities for a business visitor are:

(i) Attending meetings or conferences

(ii) Undertaking a clinical attachment or dental observer post 9granted for 6 weeks at a time up to a maximum of 6 months)

(iii) Undertaking academic visitor activities (see definition)

(iv) Undertaking Visiting professor activities (see definition)

(v) Speakers at conferences, provided they are 'one-off' and the event is not run as a money-making concern

Process to Gain Entry Clearance to the UK

 An individual who wishes to come to the University as a visitor should be provided with appropriate evidence of the invitation to come to visit the University. The evidence should say enough to assist the individual in making their visa application for leave to enter the UK at their closest UK Embassy or Consulate. Details of where individuals can apply is given on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, see  (and then click on the 'UK Embassies Abroad' link on the right-hand side). The application process takes a minimum of 2 weeks. An applicant for an entry clearance must be outside the United Kingdom at the time of the application.