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.
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.