Visitors: General information

Please choose from the tabs below:

Who is considered as a visitor?


A visitor is generally considered to be someone who comes from another academic institution, for a single specific visit to Oxford, typically lasting from one week to one year, during which time they are based and work in the department and are provided with departmental and university facilities.


  • A visitor is considered to be an individual visiting the department who will be carrying out some form of activity related to the work of the department.
  • A University-hosted research project is considered to be a programme of research for which the University receives specific funding.
  • A visitor is said to be working on such a project if he/she has been invited to carry out (whether paid or unpaid) an identified sub-programme of research within the project.


Please see below examples of who will need to fill in an application form to visit the Department:

  • A senior academic carrying out his/her own research within Biochemistry and not employed on a departmentally-funded project
  • An academic coming to collaborate on University-hosted research
  • A researcher employed by another Oxford University department or college coming to Biochemistry for collaborative purposes
  • A researcher employed elsewhere coming to Biochemistry for collaborative purposes
  • A student from another institution working on a temporary basis with academic staff in Biochemistry
  • A student on a summer internship
  • An individual who would like to undertake work experience (please see the main tab Contact us)
  • Virtual collaboration (please contact your Departmental host for more information)

You can read more under the link to the University visitors page.


Biochemistry categories of visitor

In Biochemistry we have two categories of a visitor:

1. Internal visitors

Internal visitors have their University card and existing University e-mail address. They come from a different Department or College.

Please contact your Biochemistry host for forms completion and access.

2. External visitors

External visitors do not have a University card or University e-mail address when they first arrive in the Department.

They must have a valid right to work in the UK - see the Staff Immigration Team website.

For more information, including the types of external visitors, please click link to External Visitors page


Online process

All internal and external visitor forms are now online.

The procedure is divided into two main parts: the Host Form and the Visitor Registration Form.

Please note that the biochemistry supervisor and a visitor should receive at the end of submission an email, from the biochemistry administration, confirming access. If you haven't received any information, please contact HR.

Right-to-work checks and Health and Safety Induction need to be arranged prior to the visit and attended.


Whether you are planning to visit the Biochemistry building, or you are invited by someone from the Department, there are some rules that need to be followed.

The Online Form must be completed in advance by the academic host (a member of the academic staff of the department) for all prospective visitors to the Biochemistry Department who will be carrying out some form of activity (paid or unpaid) and who, irrespective of their planned length of stay, require access to services during their visit, including access to departmental IT facilities, University Card, desk space. 

Not sure about your visitor category? You can read more about Biochemistry external visitors. or in Categories of Biochemistry visitors.


This form must be completed before arrival as this helps the Department to make ready any specific requirements and to effectively welcome the visitor. If the visitor approval process has not been completed then the department cannot admit the person and provide any service.

Visits supported by funded research projects will require prior approval within the grant from the funding body to request expenses. Please contact Finances if you are having any questions.

All visitors must be approved by the department prior to their arrival. Please check visitor information available on external and internal pages of our Department.

Information about RTW checks and visitor requirements for crossing the UK border is available in the tabs below.

Please make sure any Visa arrangements or invitation letters are arranged prior to the visit.

You can read about it in the tabs below and on our internal site. If any questions - please contact HR officers.

Please check  the Government page and this pdf for visa information.

If you are (inviting) a student, please read University visiting students page and this University new students page.

You can log in using your SSO for more information on Biochemistry intranet:

Biochemistry visitors

Right to work check

Short stay visitors (i.e. for two weeks or less) will be issued with a Visitor's pass (available at the Reception), which must be worn throughout the visit.

Please collect your visitor's pass on the day of their arrival.

If you have booked a parking space, your visitor will also be issued with a parking permit which should be displayed on the dashboard and returned, together with your Visitor's pass, to Reception on leaving.

You must always accompany your visitor in the department. We place a very high value on Health & Safety and we will ensure that this visit is a safe one. As the host, please make your visitor aware of any relevant Health & Safety procedures and we would ask your visitor to follow any instructions given - especially in relation to fire evacuation procedures.

There are costs associated with hosting visitors such as the provision of space and IT facilities. For this reason, visitor hosts are asked to explore with the prospective longer-term visitor, whether there is funding available to cover these costs. For example, from a research grant.

The applicability and level of bench fees to be charged by the department, should be discussed with the Associate Head in advance of a visitor application being submitted.

Separate payment will be expected from all visitors for large volumes of photocopying or large items of postage.

If you are paying expenses to your visitor from a grant held by you, please discuss this with the Finance Team. Your grant will specify the payments that are permitted within the grant conditions. The Finance Team will be able to confirm the details before you submit your application. This will include any expenses and how you would like payments to be made.

Any expenses that you would like your visitor to receive from your grant, should be confirmed before the application is made.

Please note that visa expenses cannot be claimed from grant funds.

We kindly ask you to submit the form at least two weeks (Internal visitors) or six weeks (External visitors) before the planned visit/arrival, to allow completion of the approval procedure.


If you are inviting University of Oxford graduate student (Rotation or otherwise), please don't use this form, contact the Graduate Studies Office in the first instance.


  1. The Host (Supervisor) Form:
    • Completed by the Sponsor/Host;
    • Supervisor should check with Finance if expenses are to be paid.
  2. Online Host Form sent for Administration approval.
  3. A supervisor form will now be processed and the following actions will happen:
  • Departmental approval or rejection. If approved:
        1. The Visitor Registration form (second step) will be sent to the visitor by Biochemistry administration;
        2. Letter/s of invitation and Confirmation of Arrival forms must be completed by supervisor and visitor prior to arrival (if required);
        3. Right-to-Work check - EEA/UK and/or Visa check have to be conducted prior to visitors arrival (if required);
        4. Visitor or University Card allocated to the visitor (if required);
        5. IT account/access approved (for virtual access this is the last step);
        6. Access to the facilities is confirmed via an official administration email sent to the visitor and supervisor.
  • If rejected – an official administration email is sent to the Supervisor.


Failure to provide all of the required documents may delay your visitor's access to Biochemistry and/or its facilities.


More information available on Biochemistry external visitor requirements page and Departmental online process.


All internal and external visitor forms are available online. The procedure is divided into two main parts: the Host Form and the Visitor Registration Form.

RTW checks and H&S Induction have to be arranged prior to the visit and attended before or on the first day of arrival to the Biochemistry.


A right to work check (RTW) is a Home Office process to establish that each employee/casual worker has the right to work in the UK.

Under the 2006 Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Act the University has a duty to prevent illegal working by carrying out document checks to confirm that a person has the right to work in the UK. All employees, casual workers and Tier 5 sponsored visa holders must have their right to work checked before they start work at the University. In addition, those with time- limited right to work in the UK (i.e. those who hold a ‘List B’ document such as a visa) must have a repeat check before their visa/document is due to expire.

Worth checking:

University information about RTW.

University information about visitor visas.

Government official site about Visas and Immigration.

Right-to-Work checks, strictly in accordance with the Home Office guidance, must be made for:

  • All employees and workers who are paid through the payroll, including casual workers.
  • Tier 5 sponsored visa holders.
  • Employed Tier 4 student visa holders. Most student visa holders have restrictions on the hours they can work, for full guidance see the: additional requirements for employed student visa holders. A record of term and vacation dates must be kept and the student must complete the Tier 4 Student Employment Declaration confirming they are not employed anywhere else in excess of their permitted hours. Where a Tier 4 visa holder is applying to switch into Tier 2 they are permitted to start work during their application for a Tier 2 visa. See Switching from a Tier 4 visa into Tier 2 General for additional information.
  • People doing work experience (except where the individual is under the age of 16).
  • Those undertaking unpaid work.

In addition to staff, departments and colleges should check and record the visa status of:


Worth checking:

University information about RTW.

University information about visitor visas.

Government official site about Visas and Immigration.

It is the visa applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they enter the correct information in their visa application and provide the required supporting documents when submitting their visa application. Should the applicant submit the wrong visa application, or fail to provide the correct supporting documents, the visa application is likely to be refused by the Home Office. Any visa refusals will need to be included in any UK visa application made in the future. If the visa application is refused, the applicant is required to contact their hosting University department or college.


Who needs to apply for a visa before coming to the UK?


1. Visa nationals 

The Home Office separates visitors into visa nationals and non-visa nationals depending on their nationality. 

Visa nationals are required to apply for (and obtain) a visa before travelling to the UK. A list of the countries can be found in the visa national list on the Home Office Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa national list.

If a visitor is from a country which is not on the visa nationals list, they are classed as a 'Non-visa national'. They are able to travel to the UK without holding a UK visa, but must instead present the documents at the border to an immigration officer. If they satisfy the conditions of the visa they are applying for, the immigration officer stamps the visitors passport. This stamp acts as the visitors visa as it grants the visitor entry clearance to the UK for a temporary amount of time.


2. Academic visitors (and dependants) coming to the UK for over 6 months 

Academic visitors who are coming to the UK for a period of over 6 months will need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK. This also applies to nationals who are not on the visa national list.

If an Academic visitor is bringing dependants, each dependant will also need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK (even if they are also classed as a non-visa national).


When to apply for a Visitor visa

Those who need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK can submit the visa application up to 3 months before the visit is due to commence. 

Dependants can apply at the same time as the main applicant, though each dependant will need to submit a separate application. Dependants cannot apply before the main applicant: they must either submit their application at the same time as the main applicant, or after the main applicant has submitted their application, or after the main applicant’s visa has been granted.


Please note the Home Office advise against booking any flights before the visitor visa has been obtained. 

How and when to apply for a Visitor visa

All visa applications are submitted online on the UK Government website. This is the case for residents of all countries except North Korea. Applicants should ensure they check the Home Office eligibility requirements before applying. In addition, applicants can refer to the Staff Immigration Team's overview of the different UK visa routes


Step 1: Apply online 

The applicant will need to complete an online application form. Guidance and a link to the online application can be found on the Home Office Standard visitor website. Dependants must apply separately and submit an individual application. 

The online application forms are intuitive and only ask for information relevant to the application being made. The Staff Immigration Team is happy to provide guidance on the completion of the application. 

Once an online application has been submitted, the applicant will need to pay the combined visa application and biometric enrolment fee. When the visa application and biometric enrolment application has been paid for, the system will generate two PDF forms: Copy of the visa application and a document checklist. 


Step 2: Book a biometrics appointment 

Once an application has been submitted, the applicants should be automatically directed to book a biometrics appointment at a UK visa application centre in their country of residence. At this appointment, the applicant will enrol their biometrics (photographs and fingerprints) and submit their documents. 

The exact process may differ depending on country, so applicants are encouraged to check the Home Office guidance on how to apply for a UK visa in their country of residence. 


You can read more about Visas on University Immigration pages and Government page.

You can read about University's statement on Brexit and visit the Staff Immigration website for further information.

More updates you can find under the Information and guidance for EU staff (including FAQ) and Information for current and prospective EU students (Oxford and the EU: student Q&As page).


On the official government site, you can find out how new Brexit rules apply to things like travel and doing business with Europe.

Worth checking:

University information about RTW.

University information about visitor visas.

Government official site about Visas and Immigration.


When you must see a border control officer

You must see a border control officer and get a stamp in your passport if you’re from a non-EEA country and entering the UK:

  • on a short term study visa up to 6 months
  • with a Tier 5 Creative or Sporting certificate of sponsorship for up to 3 months (and you want to enter without a visa)
  • on a permitted paid engagement
  • to accompany or join your EEA family member

You cannot get a stamp if you use the ePassport gates. Without a stamp, you will not be allowed to carry out the activities you came to the UK to do. We suggest you ALWAYS see a border officer.

Check if you need Visa

Traveling to the UK

Study in the UK

Entering the UK

UK Information for International students


For current University information please see Oxford and Brexit (for staff and students).

Information about all UK visitor categories can be found on the Home Office website.

University information about RTW

University information about visitor visas.

Government official site about Visas and Immigration.


Please familiarize yourself with:

University Statutes and Regulations

Departmental Visitor Agreement Letter - official University Agreement (included also in the online submission form).


More information about Right-to-work can be found additionally on step by step guide to the Employer Checking Service


The 2021 edition of Oxford Guide (formerly Oxford in Brief) is now available to view.