Staff Immigration

Visit visa (standard)

In April 2015 the visit visa (standard) came in to operation.  This route replaced:

  • General Visitor visa
  • Child Visitor visa
  • Business Visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists
  • Sports Visitor visa
  • Entertainer Visitor visa
  • Prospective Entrepreneur visa
  • Private Medical Treatment Visitor visa
  • Approved Destination Status (ADS) visa


Eligibility requirements

Genuine intention to visit

Must demonstrate that they are a genuine visitor which means that they:

  • will leave the UK at the end of their visit; and
  • will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK their main home; and
  • is genuinely seeking entry for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes; and
  • will not undertake any prohibited activities; and
  • must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds. This includes the cost of the return or onward journey, any costs relating to dependants, and the cost of planned activities such as private medical treatment.


Funds, maintenance and accommodation provided by a third party

Travel, maintenance and accommodation may be provided by a third party where they:

  • have a genuine professional or personal relationship with the visitor; and
  • are legally present in the UK; and
  • can and will provide support to the visitor for the intended duration of their stay.

Permitted activities

Travel and leisure:


Visit family and friends and/or come to the UK for a holiday

Business –
General activities:

  • Attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews;
  • Give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches not organised as commercial events and which will not make a profit;
  • Negotiate and sign deals and contracts;
  • Attend trade fairs provided the visitor is not directly selling;
  • Carry out site visits and inspections;
  • Gather information for their employment overseas;
  • Be briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer.

Business – Specific sectors:

Science, research and academia

Scientists and researchers may:


  • Gather information and facts for a specific project which directly relates to their employment overseas;
  • Share knowledge or advise on an international project that is being led from the UK, provided the visitor is not carrying out research in the UK.

Academics may:


  • Take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts;
  • Carry out research for their own purposes if they are on sabbatical leave from their home institution.

Business – Overseas roles requiring specific activities in the UK:


A professor from an overseas academic institution accompanying students to the UK as part of a study abroad programme, may provide a small amount of teaching to the students at the host organisation. However this must not amount to filling a permanent teaching role for that institution.


Visitors may carry out a total of up to 30 days on recreational courses (not English language training) or a short-course (which includes English language training) at an accredited institution.



Prohibited activities


The visitor must not intend to work in the UK, which includes:

  • taking employment in the UK;
  • doing work for an organisation or business in the UK;
  • establishing or running a business as a self-employed person;
  • doing a work placement or internship;
  • direct selling to the public;
  • providing goods and services;

Permitted activities must not amount to the visitor taking employment, or doing work which amounts to them filling a role or providing short-term cover for a role. Where the visitor is already paid and employed outside of the UK, they must remain so.


The visitor must not receive payment from a UK source except for the following:

  • reasonable expenses to cover the cost of their travel and subsistence; or
  • prize money; or
  • where the applicant is engaged in Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE)


The visitor must not intend to study in the UK, except where they are undertaking a maximum of 30 days incidental study.


Immigration - © University of Kent

The Registry, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 824998

Last Updated: 08/08/2019

Banner Image: Anne Worner