Academic Visitors Visa

The Academic Visitor sub-category of the Standard Visitor route allows applicants to come to the UK to carry out academic activities for up to a period of 12 months.

Main requirements

In order to enter the UK as an Academic Visitor, an applicant must demonstrate that:

  • they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit
  • they have sufficient funds for their visit
  • the activities which they intend to carry out in the UK are permitted activities as defined in the Immigration Rules
  • they do not intend to take employment in the UK
  • they are highly qualified within their own field of expertise and
  • they are currently working in that field at an academic or higher education institution overseas.

Length and conditions of stay in the UK

Applicants can apply to come to the UK for a period of up to 12 months. There is no option to extend this visa from within the UK.

Applicants should not intend to live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits under this route or make the UK their main home. Applications can be refused if an immigration officer believes that this is the case.

The general activities an Academic Visitor can carry out during their stay in the UK include the following:

  • take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts;
  • carry out private research for their own purposes if they are on sabbatical leave from their home institution;
  • share knowledge and experience or take part in conferences or seminars providing they are non-profit ventures; and
  • 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.


Government guidance.

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