Conditions and restrictions
All visitors can:
- attend meetings, conferences (max two weeks), seminars, interviews;
- give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser;
- negotiate and sign deals and contracts;
- attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling;
- carry out site visits and inspections;
- gather information for their employment overseas;
- a professor from an overseas academic institution accompanying students to the UK as part of a study abroad programme, may provide a small amount of teaching to the students at the host organisation. Must not be filling a permanent teaching role for that institution
- Visit friends, family and have a holiday
- Study - e.g.student exchange, study abroad progammes or electives as part of your course overseas, research that’s relevant to your course overseas
Visiting scientists and researchers:
- Can gather information and facts for a specific project which directly relates to their employment overseas
- Can share knowledge or advise on research they are working on overseas
- are expected to remain paid and employed overseas and are only carrying out activities that are incidental to their job overseas, for example providing advice on an international project, or sharing knowledge on research they are working on overseas but not be conducting research in the UK
If you are an academic employed in a research or teaching role at an education establishment, see our section on Academic Visitors
In all cases 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)
- not be conducting research in the UK
- have private health insurance as visitors are not entitled to free healthcare under the National Health Service (NHS)
If you have been invited by a hosting Academic College at the University and you meet the criteria to come as a Standard Visitor, the University can provide you with a letter you can include with your visa application and to show UK Border Force on entry.
We will also need you to forward to us:
- Copy of your passport (Data page with your personal details)
- (If you are a student overseas), copy of a letter confirming you are an enrolled student at your overseas institution
- (if you are a member of staff), copy of a letter confirming you are employed overseas, including details of your job title
- Copies of emails or letters confirming funding if you are receiving sponsorship or funding
- Copies of all previous visas to the UK
Dependants normally include your spouse or partner and children. If your dependants or any other family members would like to come with you, they can apply for a Standard Visitor (tourist) visa. Children of visitors cannot attend state schools.
The conditions and restrictions for your family will be the same as you if you are coming in as a Standard Visitor (Business Visitor).
Family members will also not be entitled to free healthcare under the UK National Health Service (NHS) and must get private health insurance before travelling to the UK.