If you are from an academic institution overseas, you can visit the UK as a ‘Standard Visitor’ to take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts and carry out your own research during a sabbatical.
If you are a senior doctor or dentist, you can also take part in research and teach (as long as it’s not a permanent position) and undertake non-permanent clinical practice.
As a Standard Visitor, you can visit the UK for up to 6 months as an academic. If you want to stay longer, you will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa that can grant you permission to visit the UK for up to 12 months in total.
How much does it cost to visit the UK as an academic?
Visiting the UK as an academic for up to 6 months is free. If you want to stay longer, you need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.
If you apply for a Standard Visitor visa before entry to the UK, this could last for up to 12 months for a fee of £200.
If you’re already in the UK on a 6-month Standard Visitor Visa, and want to extend it up to 12 months, you can apply for an extension before your current visa expires. The fee for a visa extension is £1000.
Whether you apply for the visa before entry or extend it during your stay, you are still only allowed to visit for up to 12 months in total from the first day of entry.
Your family may also apply to stay with you in the UK for up to 12 months in total. They can apply for a Standard Visitor visa in advance or visit for 6 months and then extend their stay once in the UK. The same fees apply as for Standard Visitor visas.
Visiting the UK as an academic for more than 6 months – requirements
When applying to visit the UK as an academic for more than 6 months on a Standard Visitor visa, you must prove that:
- You are a highly qualified expert in your field (which usually means that you have a PhD or higher)
- You are visiting to do research or a formal exchange
- If you’re a senior doctor or dentist, you may also visit to undertake non-permanent clinical practice, or to teach
- You are currently working at an academic institution overseas in your field of expertise
- You will not and do not intend to fill a permanent teaching post in the UK
You will also likely be required to provide:
- A letter from your employer stating the period of your exchange or sabbatical, including a description of the research to be undertaken
- A letter from your UK host organisation confirming the arrangements for your exchange, clinical practice, or research
Visiting the UK as an academic for more than 6 months – checklist
- Ensure your academic intentions for your visit to the UK are permitted as a Standard Visitor
- Ensure you have a copy of all documents required to enter the UK
- Check that you also meet the basic eligibility requirements as a Standard Visitor
- Check if you need to make an application for a Standard Visitor visa
- If you need a visa to enter the UK, you can apply for one online
- If you visit the UK often, you can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa instead
If you’re unsure whether you need a visa or how to apply, you can seek advice from one of our qualified immigration advisors below.
Neveen is a UK Immigration Solicitor with over 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law. She represents corporate and individual clients seeking assistance with any visa category to the UK. Neveen is a graduate of Westminster University, from which she was awarded the 2021 Westminster Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.
Neveen’s rapid career trajectory saw her progress at pace from paralegal to Head of Department level, and then to earning a place on her firm’s Board of Directors by the age of 28. This achievement was recognised by Who’s Who placing her in their directory of ‘Britain’s Business Elite’ in 2008. Neveen then went on to establish her own boutique Immigration Law Firm in the City of London in 2015. She also co-founded the Hexagon Legal Network in 2017.
Neveen is passionate about all aspects of UK immigration law, and is committed to providing bespoke residence and citizenship solutions to citizens across the globe that wish to relocate to the UK. Neveen’s immigration advisory services are predominately geared towards highly skilled workers and companies wishing to have a UK presence, however she and her team of experienced immigration advisors can also assist with partner-based applications, student visas and all other personal and business immigration matters.
If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.