If you are from an academic institution overseas, you can: take part in formal exchange, arrangements with UK counterparts, or carry out your own research during a sabbatical If you’re a senior doctor or dentist you can also: take part in research, teach (as long as it’s not a permanent teaching post), or undertake clinical practice (as long as it’s not a permanent position).
All academic visits lasting longer than 6 months require a Standard Visitor visa regardless of your nationality. You can either apply for a Standard Visitor visa before you travel to the UK that lasts for up to 12 months and costs £190 or visit for up to 6 months and apply to stay longer when you’re in the UK for a fee of £993 (you can stay up to 12 months in total).
You must meet the basic eligibility requirements for a Standard Visitor and the additional eligibility requirements for academics. You must provide any required documents that show your eligibility. These may include document to prove you are
• highly qualified in your field of expertise – this will usually mean you have a PhD or higher,
• currently working in that field of expertise at an academic institution overseas, and
• not filling a permanent teaching post.
If you are an academic, but not a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove you are visiting to do research or a formal exchange. If you are a senior doctor or dentist, you must also prove you are visiting to do research, clinical practice, a formal exchange or to teach.
You would also need a letter from your employer outlining the dates of your sabbatical or exchange, your employer outlining the research to be undertaken and the UK host organisation confirming the arrangements for your research, exchange or clinical practice.
Your partner and children can apply to stay with you for up to 12 months. They can apply for a Standard Visitor visa in advance or visit for 6 months and extend their stay once in the UK.
Depending on where you come from, you may also need a certificate that proves you do not have tuberculosis (TB).