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Human Resources

International Visitors

Queen Mary welcomes visitors from across the world to undertake a variety of academic activities, including giving lectures, conducting research, and acting as examiners. To ensure that Queen Mary is compliant with UK Immigration Law we are required to undertake a right to work check on every person we intend to engage to ensure they are lawfully allowed to work in the UK.

Right to work checks

All visitors no matter their nationality are required to show their Passport or National Identification Card, and where necessary, a visa appropriate for the activity they are undertaking. 

Non-British or Irish visitors, who are not resident in the UK, will likely require a visa to undetake any work. 

What visa will my visitor require?

The type of visa an individual will require will depend on where they are resident and what activities they will be taking part in. 

Inviting an international visitor resident in the UK

  • British or EEA citizens who are resident in the UK do not require additional permissions to work in the UK.
  • If you are inviting a Non-EEA citizen, who is resident in the UK, you will need to ensure that their visa allows them to under take the activity you wish them to undertake.  
Inviting an international visitor not resident in the UK

If you are inviting an international visitor from outside the UK you should first establish with them what, if any, eligibility they have to be in the UK they may already have and assess whether that covers the purpose of their visit.

If they do not have eligibility, your invitation should formally document precisely what it is they are being invited to do. This will support them in their visa application, however it will not guarantee a successful visa application/successful entry to the UK. 

To determine the appropriate visa for the required visit, we would advise first reading the document below.  The visitor visa route is broad with several subclasses. It is important that visitors identify the correct subcategory to cover their proposed activities as selecting an inappropriate subcategory may mean that they cannot fulful their planned visit.

Academic Visitors [PDF 474KB]

Visitor Routes [PDF 540KB]

The UK Government has an online tool to check whether a visa is needed to travel to the UK. 

Visitors who are coming to the UK to take part in collaborative research, will need to apply for a T5 Government Authorised Exchange visa.  This will require them to meet the funding criteria and they will need a certificate of sponsorship from HR.

If the activity or reason for the visit is not covered within the above guidance, please contact your local HR Team for further information. Please include full details of the proposed visit.

Please note that anyone travelling to the UK on a permitted paid engagement route must see a UK border control officer on their arrival in the UK and get a stamp in their passport. 

Visitor visas

Visitors coming to the University from outside of the EEA will be required to gain entry to the UK under an immigration category appropriate for the agreed activity.  A visitor's ability to enter the UK will depend on their nationality and whether they are considered a visa or non-visa national.  

Visa Nationals - Those considered visa nationals will need to apply for a visa before they travel to the UK. A list of visa nationals can be found in Appendix 2 of Appendix V: Immigration Rules for Visitors.

Non-visa Nationals - Those considered non-visa nationals can travel to the UK without a visa but they must obtain the correct stamp from the UK Border Force to allow them to work in the UK. On arrival in the UK they should ensure that they are clear in stating the purpose of their visit to ensure they are given the correct permission to enter the UK. Non-visa nationals travelling to work for Queen Mary should not use the .  

Please note: It is important to remember that visa free travel does not negate the need to have the correct permission to work in the UK.  Without the correct permission to be in the UK then the visitor will not be able to undertake the agreed activity. 

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