Guidance – Visitors (INF 2)
Last updated 01 July 2010
Do I need a visa to visit the UK?
You will need a visa to visit the UK if any of the following apply to you:
- you are applying to visit the UK in order to get married;
- you are applying as an Academic Visitor and intend to stay in the UK for more than 6 months;
Business visitors: Academic visitors
If you wish to come to the UK as an Academic visitor you can do so provided you are either:
- a person on sabbatical leave from an overseas academic institution who wishes to make use of their leave to carry out research here (e.g to do research for a book)
NB. Those who are on sabbatical leave from private research companies are not eligible for leave under the academic visitor provisions – see INF guidance on points-based system Tier 2 or Tier 5.
- an academic (including doctors) taking part in formal exchange arrangements with United Kingdom counterparts; or
- an eminent senior doctor or dentist coming to take part in research, teaching or clinical practice.
In addition you must:
- not receive funding for your work from any United Kingdom source (payments of expenses or reasonable honoraria may be disregarded, as may payments on an exchange basis);
- not engage in any work other than the academic activity for which you are being admitted;
- not be filling a normal post or a genuine vacancy;
- not stay in the UK for more than 12 months;
- not intend to take employment in the UK;
- intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit;
- be able to maintain yourself and any dependants without having recourse to public funds (or be adequately maintained and accommodated by relatives or friends);
- be able to meet the cost of your return or onward journey from the UK.
How long can I stay in the UK as an Academic Visitor?
The maximum permitted stay in this category is 12 months.