Visit as an academic

If you’re from an academic institution overseas, you can:

  • take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts
  • carry out your own research during a sabbatical

If you’re a senior doctor or dentist you can also:

  • take part in research
  • teach (as long as it’s not a permanent teaching post)
  • undertake clinical practice (as long as it’s not a permanent position)

To research certain subjects at postgraduate level or above, you may need to get an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before you start your research.

If you want to visit for up to 6 months

You should:

If you want to visit for more than 6 months

All academic visits lasting longer than 6 months require a Standard Visitor visa regardless of your nationality.

You can:

You must meet the basic eligibility requirements for a Standard Visitor and the additional eligibility requirements for academics. You must provide any required documents that show your eligibility.

Your partner and children can apply to stay with you for up to 12 months. They can apply for a Standard Visitor visa in advance or visit for 6 months and extend their stay once in the UK.

Eligibility requirements if you want to stay longer than 6 months

You must prove you’re:

  • highly qualified in your field of expertise - this will usually mean you have a PhD or higher
  • currently working in that field of expertise at an academic institution overseas
  • not filling a permanent teaching post

If you’re an academic, but not a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove you’re visiting to do research or a formal exchange.

If you’re a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove you’re visiting to do research, clinical practice, a formal exchange or to teach.

Documents you may need

You need to show you meet the eligibility requirements, for example by providing a letter from:

  • your employer outlining the dates of your sabbatical or exchange
  • your employer outlining the research to be undertaken
  • the UK host organisation confirming the arrangements for your research, exchange or clinical practice

Depending on where you come from, you may need a certificate that proves you do not have tuberculosis (TB). Check if you’ll need to take a TB test.