Business, Academic and PPE visitors
Visitors to the UK who wish to participate in any activities in the University must hold an appropriate visa. Visitors holding a general 'tourist' visa are not allowed to participate in any activities in the University whatsoever.
Depending on the nature of the activities involved, visitors to the University may be required to hold a Business Visitor visa, an Academic Visitor visa or a Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visitor visa. The activities permitted under a Business Visitor visa are more restrictive than those under an Academic Visitor and PPE visa. However, note that none of these categories allows migrants to work on University-hosted research projects. Such migrants should consider applying for a temporary worker visa under Tier 5.
It is a departmental /college responsibility to ensure that all visitors participating in University activities are properly entitled to do so. It is recognised that it could be considered potentially embarrassing to have to ask, for example, an eminent visiting professor to confirm their immigration status. However, it would be significantly more embarrassing to the individual, to the department /college, and to the University if such a person was identified as an illegal migrant during a UK Border Agency compliance visit, taken to a detention centre and subsequently deported.
Further information on the Business Visitor, Academic Visitor and PPE Visitor routes can be found at the following links.
Those who are unlikely to be classed as Business or Academic Visitors
The following includes examples of those who are unlikely to qualify for Business or Academic Visitor visas:
- researchers coming to work on University-hosted formal research projects (a Tier 5 temporary worker visa will be required);
- someone coming to give a paid lecture (a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa will be required. A Tier 5 temporary worker visa may be appropriate if the migrant is not filling an advertised vacancy and the lecturer is additional to normal staffing requirements);
- someone coming to give a series of lectures (whether paid or unpaid) (a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa will be required. A Tier 5 temporary worker visa may be appropriate if the migrant is not filling an advertised vacancy and the lecturer is additional to normal staffing requirements);
- students coming on internships specifically to undertake research (a Tier 5 temporary worker visa will be required);
- students coming on non-research internships or work placements (a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa, Tier 5 internship scheme visa, or student visitor visa will be required);
- those holding the title of University Visiting Professor, if working on University-hosted formal research projects (a Tier 1 or Tier 5 temporary worker visa visa will be required).
Permitted study as a Visitor
With effect from 1 October 2013 a person who has been granted leave (a visa) to enter the UK under one of the Visitor routes (general (tourist) visitor, family visitor, business visitor, academic visitor, or permitted paid engagement visitor) may undertake a course of 'incidental study' as long as it:
- does not exceed 30 days in duration (either alone or taken together with any other course and whether continuous or otherwise i.e. taken as a single period or a number of smaller periods); and
- is not the main purpose of the visit; and
- is a recreational course that is only for leisure purposes and not to gain a qualification (e.g. horse-riding, painting, pottery, sailing); or is provided by an institution which holds a licence under Tier 4 of the Points Based System or which is accredited by a Home Office-approved body in the case of an English language or academic course.
Further information including details of required accreditation for institutions to meet these requirements can be found under the 'Requirements' section of the relevant visitor route in the UK Border Agency's guidance.
Please note that if the purpose of the visit(s) to the UK changes to being mainly for study they would instead need to apply as a student visitor.