Visa application process (for overseas applicants)

Once a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued to a migrant, they must obtain a Tier 5 visa/ entry clearance before they enter the UK, and have three months from the date the Certificate of Sponsorship is issued to do so. After three months the certificate will lapse and can no longer be used to support a visa application.

Migrants should also note that they must not apply for a visa any sooner than three months before the start date given on their Certificate of Sponsorship. In addition, migrants will not be permitted to enter the UK any sooner than 14 days before the start date on their Certificate of Sponsorship.

Tier 5 visa applications must be made by the migrant direct to their local Visa Application Centre. In some countries, part of the visa application must be completed online. In other countries, making an application online is optional. In others, it is not possible to make the application online. Migrants are advised to carefully check the application requirements in their country of residence before applying. The length of time taken to process visa applications can vary considerably from country to country.

Please refer to the UK Border Agency website for more information on the application process in a particular country. Overseas migrants will also need to provide their biometric details (fingerprints and photographs) when applying for a visa to enter the UK. 

Please see Tier 5 visa application guidance (overseas) (223kb) for details on the supporting documents that will be needed for this application. This guidance will be sent to the migrant by email with their Certificate of Sponsorship number.

It is the migrants' responsibility to ensure that they provide the correct documentation when making their visa application to the overseas Visa Application Centre.

Should the migrant submit their visa application late, or fail to supply the correct documentation, their application will be refused and their Certificate of Sponsorship will be rendered invalid. In this eventuality, the University will need to issue another Certificate of Sponsorship (if possible) and the migrant will need to submit a fresh visa application.

Please note that those applying under this category will be subject to a "genuineness test".

Tuberculosis (TB) pre-screening

There are a growing number of countries considered to have a high incidence of tuberculosis whose nationals must provide a valid medical certificate which has been issued by a Home Office approved medical practitioner confirming that they have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and that they have been diagnosed as being free from active pulmonary tuberculosis if they are applying to come to the UK for more than six months.

Please note that while the results of the standard test should be made available quite quickly, if the test results are inconclusive additional tests will be required for which the results could take several months to process. Where TB is detected a medical certificate will not be issued until after treatment has been received (which can take up to 6 months), the applicant can show that they have had treatment, and that they then are free from TB. It is important that applicants from countries where TB pre-screening is required are tested as soon as possible in advance of their application as additional tests and/or treatment will significantly delay their application to come to the UK.

When issued with a medical certificate confirming that the applicant is free from TB this certificate must be submitted with their application and the Home Office recommends that the certificate is carried in their hand luggage when they come to the UK in order that they are prepared to present this to the immigration officer on arrival.

Please refer to the Home Office website for country-specific information to determine whether TB pre-screening is required and for full details in relation to the process and testing for dependants (including children).