Standard Visitor (Academic Visitor)
Visa information for Academic Visitors
This route is for academics employed in a research or teaching role at an education establishment overseas on sabbatical leave coming to undertake research at the University.
An academic who wants to come for 12 months, or to have an extension to complete 12 months, must be highly qualified within their field of expertise and working in that area before entering the UK.
This route is not for students or those employed by private research companies.
The visa can be granted for 6 months or 12 months (maximum).
An academic who enters the UK initially with a 6-month visa can apply to extend the stay from within the UK for up to 12 months (must be highly qualified within their field of expertise and working in that area before entering the UK).
Whether you need to apply to apply overseas (are a Visa National) or you can apply at a UK border (a Non Visa National) depends on your nationality. You can check your own status on the Check if I need a visa? section of the UKVI website.
Visa nationals must always apply for a visa before travelling to the UK, regardless of how long the visit is.
Non-visa nationals can apply at a UK border but can only be granted up to a maximum of 6 months at the border. Academics who want to stay for longer than 6 months should apply for a visa overseas before travelling to the UK.
Academic Visitors can
- take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts (including doctors)
- carry out research for their own purposes if they are on sabbatical leave from their home institution
- if they are an eminent senior doctor or dentist, take part in research, teaching or clinical practice provided this does not amount to filling a permanent teaching post
Academic Visitors must:
- leave the UK at the end of their visit
- not live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits. We would advise very generally that you do not stay in the UK for more than 6 months in any 12-month period.
- not undertake any form of employment in the UK
- not be filling a short-term cover or permanent role for that institution
- not have any recourse to public funds
- not receive funding from any UK source (except for reasonable amounts of expenses and subsistence)
- have private health insurance as visitors are not covered under the National Health Service (NHS)
- pay UK council tax
Additional information and requirements for 12-month visits:
- Some nationals have to take a tuberculosis test (TB test) as part of the visa application overseas. You can check if you do from the UKVI website
- Visitors under this route are exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee but you will not be covered under the National Health Service (NHS) so you should get private health insurance for yourself and any accompanying dependants
- Requirement to register with the local police in the UK for some nationals. See Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules to find out if you need to register and how to register in Swansea
If you have been invited by a hosting College/School at the University, the University can provide you with a letter you can include with your visa application or to show UK Border Force on entry.
Contact the relevant Academic College for support and letters.
If you have any specific visa enquiries, you can email the International@CampusLife team
Spouse and children can apply as Dependants of an Academic Visitor. Children of Academic Visitors coming for up to 12 months can attend state schools.