Human Resources

Visiting Academics & Researchers, External Visiting Lecturers, External Examiners and Practice Assessors: Prevention of Illegal Working


The University has a legal duty to prevent illegal working under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Any employer may discharge this duty and obtain a statutory excuse (a defence) against liability for a civil penalty of up to a maximum of £20,000 per illegal worker by conducting Right to Work checks. Conducting these checks also protect the University's sponsor licence and make it easier for us to ensure that we only employ people permitted to do the work in question.

Who is this guide for?

This guidance provides information for those who wish to invite visiting academics and researchers, external visiting lecturers, external examiners and practice assessors to carry out activities (either paid or unpaid) for the University.

What do I need to do?

Step 1: Check their Right to Work documents when you invite them.

Step 2: Determine the answers to these questions:

i.   Is the visitor from outside of the EEA/UK? If so, are they a visa national? (Appendix 2. Visa National List)
ii.  Will the visitor need to physically enter the UK? If yes, how long for?
iii. What activities will the individual be doing with the University?
iv. Will the individual receive any payment (including travel, subsistence)?

Step 3: Visit Check if you need a visa and answer all the questions. This will advise if a visa is required but you will need to consider which type.  If the visitor does not need a visa please skip straight to step 5.

Step 4:  Refer to the Visa table to identify the appropriate visa requirements and discuss with the visitor what they need to do.

Step 5:  Determine what you need to do with the paperwork.

Step 6:  Ensure that the Right to Work documentation has been verified prior to the visitor undertaking any activities with the University, as described in point 1. Both the inviting manager and the Academic Visitor must also ensure the Academic Visitor is able to provide a CV or qualifications to show they have the necessary skills and expertise, as these will be required to obtain a visa.

Step 7:  Where necessary, arrange for any required computer access, email or library facilities.

For Tier 2 and Tier 5 (points based system) visa holders, please refer to the following guidance

What else do I need to know?

  • It should be possible to obtain scanned copies, as a minimum, of the visitor’s right to work in the UK before their start date. If it is not possible to verify the individual’s Right to Work documents before their start date, this must be done before any activities are undertaken, and the copies must confirm that it was seen prior to any activities taking place.
  • If the individual needs to be added to the HR system (i.e. for payroll or ID card purposes), Human Resources are unable to add the individual to the HR system until they have received Right to Work documents. The visitor will be not be able to access University facilities until they are added to the HR system. Payroll cannot pay the individual until they are added to the HR system.
  • A person who wishes to enter the UK as a visitor must have permission to do so. That permission may be granted as a standard visitor visa (a passport endorsement indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, and stay, in the UK for a specified period of time) or as leave to enter (permission granted to enter the UK, provided the individual qualifies under the immigration rules for entry to the UK).

 * A visa national must obtain a visitor visa before they arrive in the UK. A visa national who arrives in the UK without a visitor visa will be refused leave to enter.

 *A non-visa national may apply for a visitor visa, but is not required to unless they are seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months. If they are visiting for up to 6 months, a non-visa national may apply for  leave to enter as a visitor on arrival at the UK border.

  • If they are physically entering the UK, either their start date should be a normal working day, or there should be the opportunity to verify their Right to Work documents at least one day before they undertake any activities.
  • It is the responsibility of both the inviting manager and the visiting academic to make sure that they understand any visa restrictions the visitor may have, and confirm that dates of the visit do NOT exceed the end date of any visa. If you have any concerns about submitted Right to Work documents or visa dates outside of expected visiting dates then contact the HR Service Centre.

Useful links regarding visa requirements for visitors

Guidance and information in relation to international staff or sponsored researchers can be found on the Tier 2 and Tier 5 (points based system) visa holders’ guidance pages.

To invite a non-EEA visiting academic who does not already have the right to work in the UK please complete all steps.

To invite a UK, EEA national or a non-EEA national who already has the right to work in the UK, please skip straight to Step 5 

Who can I ask for advice?

Use this contact form or ring your HR Adviser