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Visit (Standard) Academic Visas

This category is for Applicants highly qualified within their own field of expertise who wish to enter the UK for specified academic purposes.

Non-European nationals who wish to enter the UK as visitors must have permission to do so unless they are the national of a listed country to which an exemption applies.

When the country exemption applies, an Applicant need only apply for leave to the Immigration Officer at the UK port of entry unless:

(a) visiting the UK to marry or to form a civil partnership (or give notice of this); or

(b) seeking to visit the UK for more than 6 months.


Visit (Standard) Academic visa Applicants can apply for 12 months visas and need to demonstrate a genuine intention to visit. This means the Applicant:

  • 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
  • will not undertake any prohibited activities set out in the Visitor routes
  • 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.

Additionally, Visit (Standard) Academic visa Applicants must also:

(a) be highly qualified within their own field of expertise

(b) currently working in that field at an academic institution or institution of higher education overseas

(c) intend to do one (or more) of the following permitted activities:

(i) take part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts (including doctors);

(ii) carry out research for their own purposes if they are on sabbatical leave from their home institution;

(iii) take part in research, teaching or clinical practice provided this does not amount to filling a permanent teaching post (if they are an eminent senior doctor or dentist)


(d) provide a valid medical certificate issued by a specified medical confirming that they have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis and that this tuberculosis is not present in the Applicant (if from a specified country)



Visit (Standard) Academic visa holders are permitted to:

  • undertake tourism and leisure
  • volunteer for a UK Registered charity
  • study (providing this is incidental lasts no more than 30 days)
  • undertake prospective entrepreneurial activities  in specified circumstances


Visit (Standard) Academic visa Applicant’s are not permitted to

  • undertake employment or do work which amounts to filling a role or providing short-term cover for a role within a UK based organisation.
  • receive payment from a UK source for any activities undertaken in the UK except in limited circumstances
  • undertake more than 30 days’ non-incidental study in the UK.
  • The Applicant must not intend to access medical treatment other than private medical treatment or to donate an organ


Visit (Standard) Academic visa Applicants and any dependants must demonstrate sufficient funds to cover the all costs associated with the visit either personally or via third parties, without recourse to public funds.


A Visit (Standard) Academic visa Applicants stay in the UK for up to 12 months during its validity.


Our experienced lawyers can help Applicants:

  • Make an initial application
  • Challenge decisions by way of Administrative Review or other appeal process

We will assist by:

  • Obtaining the complete facts of a case
  • collecting relevant documents
  • advising the best solutions
  • preparing the application (including completion of forms)
  • preparing covering submissions
  • submitting the application(s) to the relevant authority
  • communicating with the relevant authority until a decision is made
  • advising about rights and entitlements following a decision
  • providing follow up support and services



DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. Our specialist immigration team works closely with individual academics and organisations to apply for a Visit (Standard) Academic visas. Please contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/0844 556 9901 or e-mail