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Visitor policy

NB: Please see our COVID-19 pages for our special visitors policy for summer and autumn 2021.

All visitors to NDCN (senior academics, researchers, student visitors, etc...) must be put forward by a member of the department (the sponsor) and their visit must be approved by the Head of Department in advance of their visit. Ideally, the request should come to HR at least eight weeks in advance of the start of the visit.

Where a visa for the visit is required, the information MUST be submitted at least three months in advance of the intended start date.​

If you wish to host a visitor, please email hr@ndcn.ox.ac.uk as soon as possible with the following:

NB: All PIs and Line Managers must be aware that visitors to the UK who wish to participate in any activities in the University must hold an appropriate visa. Visitors holding a general 'tourist' visa are not allowed to participate in any activities in the University whatsoever.

HR will check visitors' immigration status by requesting to see originals of their passport/ID card/birth certificate in advance or on their first day or their visit.

For those visitors from outside the UK, the appropriate visa must be in place before the visit commences.​

Visitors' Visas

Depending on the nature of the activities involved, HR will liaise with Staff Immigration Team (SIT) to determine the appropriate visa required.

HR must be informed of the nationality of a visitor via the academic visitor request form.

HR will also check the immigration status of all visitors prior to their arrival or on their first day of their visit, whichever is practical.

There are several routes to allow for visitors from outside the UK to visit:

Standard Visitor VISA

To qualify as an Academic Visitor, the applicant must be able to produce evidence that they have been working in a Higher Education Institution overseas, or in the field of their academic expertise immediately before seeking entry to the UK as an Academic Visitor.

This is the most common route for senior academics that use their sabbaticals to come to the UK to exchange experiences and ideas with colleagues at NDCN.

All Academic Visitors (regardless of whether they require a visa in advance of travel to the UK, or not) will require a letter of invitation from the host department to present with their visa application (for those who require a visa in advance of travel) or to immigration officers at the port of entry (for those who do not require a visa in advance of travel). HR will be able to issue this letter.

Permitted Paid Engagement

Similar to the Academic Visitor category, the permitted paid Engagement category is for visitors who wish to come to the UK for less than a month to deliver lecturers or to act as examiners or assessors and they are going to be paid for this work.

HR will be able to provide the appropriate letter once it is established that this is the right immigration status for a visitor.

Tier 5 Temporary Workers

The University will be able to sponsor certain visitors to come to the UK under the Tier 5 Temporary Worker category. This route is mostly used for visitors who come to collaborate on University-hosted research projects or to undertake research as an intern where the work is additional to the department's normal requirements.

HR will advise PIs and line managers if this is the right category once the Academic Visitor request is received by HR.

Please note that this route may take a few weeks and involves a certain level of administrative burden. The process is twofold:

  • The department request a Certificate of Sponsorship under Tier 5 and provide the incoming visitor with the number;
  • Once visitors are in receipt of the Certificate of Sponsorship number, they request their visa.

HR will support the visitor through this process.

Student Visitors

Some of our visitors are students enrolled in Master and DPhil courses abroad, who wish to come to NDCN to undertake a period of research in one of our labs. For those students from outside the EEA, there is a route to come to the UK under a student visitor visa. The Student Visitor route allows students over the age of 18 to study either part-time or full-time for up to 6 months in the UK.

Students may be able to apply for a Student Visitor visa to come to the UK if:

  • Their visit to NDCN directly contributes to their study back in the country of origin, eg. they receive credit for it on their course or it is assessed in some way, or they write up the research as part of their dissertation. HR will request a letter from the supervisor/department at the University of origin as evidence of this;
  • What they are doing is not considered to be work.

Once HR establishes that the Student Visitor route is the appropriate route, HR will liaise with the NDCN Student Administrator Officer, who will issue the student with the appropriate letter of invitation to the Department. The student will then be able to use the letter to gain the right immigration status to enter the UK.