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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 it is essential that a right to work check is undertaken for every person who is engaged as a visitor to ensure they are lawfully allowed to undertake the proposed work while they are in the UK.

If you are inviting an international visitor to the UK you should first establish whether they will be attending Queen Mary as a visiting worker or a visiting student.  HR are here to assist you with international visitors who are coming to the UK to undertake work based activities.  We cannot provide advice regarding visiting students.

Right to work

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. 

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

Establishing the need for a visa

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 a UK resident to work for Queen Mary 

  • British and Irish citizens do not require additional permissions to work in the UK;
  • EEA nationals who are resident in the UK will be required to provide confirmation of their status under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • UK visa holders will need to ensure that their visa allows them to under take the activity you wish them to undertake.  Please obtain a copy of their visa and speak with HR before any work is undertaken. 
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 permission but it is essential that an assessment is made as to whether that permission covers the purpose of their visit.

If they are not eligible to work then they will likely need a visa.  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. 

Visitor Routes

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.

Visitor Routes [PDF 540KB]

The UK Government also has an online tool to check whether a visa is needed to travel to the UK. Please note that some nationals may not require a visa for a visit of less than 6 months.  They will however still need the correct permission should they be undertaking any work. Further detail of which nationalities this affects is below under visa and non-visa nationals.

More information on what can be done on the visitor routes is available from the Home Office.

Visa and non-visa nationals 

Visitors coming to the University from outside of the Common Travel Area 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 Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list

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 eGates.  

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. 

Visa Options

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