UK visas and immigration
UK Visas and Immigration is responsible for making millions of decisions...
If you don’t already have immigration permission to work in the UK you’ll need to apply for a UK visa or work permit.
Our Visa and Immigration team can advise you on this process – please email them at UKVI@kcl.ac.uk.
You should also liaise with your hiring or line manager. Please note that all staff (visa and non-visa) must undertake a right to work check before starting a post at King’s, as a condition of employment.
First you should determine the most appropriate immigration route for you. The most common routes are listed below.
We will continue to update this page with the latest information; you can also find details on the government’s website Work in the UK.
The Skilled Worker visa is a sponsored work visa (previously known as Tier 2) for non-UK/Irish nationals and requires a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued by King’s College London. Family members of skilled worker visa holders can apply for dependent visas which provide the right to live and work in the UK.
To qualify for a Certificate of Sponsorship, applicants must:
have a formal offer of appointment and contract
meet the English language requirement
have an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate (if relevant)
obtain a TB test (for listed countries)
hold a current passport
hold an Overseas Criminal Record Certificate (for some role categories).
The maintenance funds requirement is certified by King’s as a standard procedure, so you don’t need to provide evidence of funds unless instructed to do so.
The Skilled Worker visa is part of the points-based immigration system. Points can be awarded for holding a relevant PhD, or if the role is listed on the shortage occupation list. Points can be traded against the salary threshold to bring down the minimum salary level required for sponsorship.
Applicants applying from outside the UK will require a Defined CoS, while those applying from within the UK will require an Undefined CoS. The Defined CoS takes longer to process as it involves submitting the application to the Home Office to consider. An Undefined CoS can be issued directly by the sponsor.
Once the CoS has been issued you can apply for the visa online. You’ll receive further instructions on the application when the CoS is issued.
Applicants must pay the visa application fee at the point of application. There’s also an Immigration Heath Surcharge and a fee for enrolling your Biometric information. The visa application fees are not covered by King’s but we offer a loan scheme to assist you with costs, if required.
You can choose to use the priority services for faster processing – these services will incur additional fees. Your recruiting department will pay the fee for issuing the CoS and any additional costs in the Immigration Skills Charge.
The two processes in a Skilled Worker visa application – issuing the CoS and applying for the visa – must be completed consecutively. You should allow at least three months after receiving your contract to obtain your visa, and possibly longer. The reasons for the timings are explained below.
Issuing the CoS. The time required depends on the applicant obtaining the necessary documents. You should start applying for the documents as soon as you receive a formal offer of appointment and contract. Be aware that it can take weeks or even months to obtain the English language certification and ATAS clearance. Please note that the CoS can only be issued within three months of your proposed start date and remains valid for three months from the date of issue.
The visa application. There are currently delays to Home Office processing times, primarily due to the situation in Ukraine and the consequent increase in visa requests for Ukrainian nationals. Applications are currently taking up to nine weeks or longer to process. See the latest information on Home Office processing times.
All offers of employment are contingent on the candidate’s eligibility to work in the UK and any contractual start dates should be considered flexible until the visa has been issued and a right to work check undertaken. Proposed start dates can be brought forward, or delayed, according to the date the visa is granted. The start date can be delayed up to 28 days after whichever is the latest of:
the start date recorded on the worker’s CoS
the date the worker’s entry clearance (visa) becomes valid
the date the worker is granted permission to enter or permission to stay.
Therefore, the start date on the CoS should be realistic in relation to current processing times, as any significant delays to the eventual start date could potentially result in the cancellation of sponsorship.
Full details of the rules and procedures for skilled workers are on the government Skilled Worker visa website. King’s staff immigration team can also provide guidance – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Global Talent visa is for talented individuals from specific sectors who wish to work in the UK. Applicants must normally seek endorsement from one of six endorsing bodies engaged by the Home Office.
Applications for endorsement in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, the social sciences or the humanities, or for other academic and research roles, must be submitted to the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Applications for endorsement in non-academic fields of arts and culture and digital technology will be referred to Arts Council England or Tech Nation, which follow separate endorsement criteria.
Academics and researchers applying for endorsement must determine which of the following four routes is most suitable for their circumstances.
The Royal Society also offers a handy guide to selecting the right endorsement route.
You can get fast-track endorsement if you have an eligible job offer as an academic or researcher at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute. King’s College is an approved institution. This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
There are two categories of academic and research appointment:
Academic, research or innovation leadership and development category
This is for senior leadership roles. Typical duties may include strategy development and delivery and overseeing the management of staff and resources. Example roles include vice-chancellor/principal, pro vice-chancellor/vice-principal, dean/associate dean, head of school and research institute director.
Direct or lead category
This is for roles requiring the individual to act independently in initiating, planning and managing a research or innovation project or a programme of work without supervision. Entry level postdoctoral research positions are unlikely to be eligible.
Evidence of these criteria being met must be present in the post’s job description.
You can get fast-track endorsement if you have been awarded an individual fellowship on the list approved by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. The fellowship must be held currently or within the last 12 months.
You can get fast-track endorsement if your name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI. To be eligible, you must be hosted or employed by an eligible institution approved by UKRI.
The grant must be worth a minimum of £30k and run for at least two years. You must have at least 12 months remaining on your employment contract at the point of application.
This standard endorsement is for individuals who submit an application for full peer review by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or Royal Society.
Once you have selected the appropriate route you should submit your stage 1 endorsement application, along with the relevant supporting documentation. Before you submit your application, please contact King’s immigration team (email@example.com), who will advise you on your application.
Applications within the academic and research appointments route and the endorsed funders route require a letter of support from King’s HR Director. You can request this by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your endorsement application is successful you’ll be notified via the email address you provided in your application form. You must then apply for the Global Talent Visa within three months of notification.
Applications for the Global Talent visa can be made inside and outside the UK.
Apply within the UK for the Global Talent visa.
Apply from outside the UK for the Global Talent visa.
Endorsement applications are currently being processed within 1–2 weeks, barring any issues with the application.
Applications for the Global Talent visa are currently being processed within 3–4 weeks for applications made within the UK; and around 8 weeks for applications made outside the UK.
More information on Home Office processing times.
If you’re applying for the visa based on an endorsement, you’ll pay the visa fee in two parts. If you’re applying based on an eligible award, you’ll pay the full fee when you apply for the visa. The same fee applies to partners or children included in your application. You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.
See the latest fees for applying for a Global Talent visa.
Calculate your immigration health surcharge.
Successful applicants coming from outside the UK will be granted a 30-day travel vignette in their passport. Given the current delays to Home Office processing times, applicants are strongly advised not to book any travel until they have been granted the travel vignette.
Please note that you should not enter the UK as a visitor or apply for entry clearance in any other category while the Global Talent visa application is in process, as this would invalidate and cancel the Global Talent application.
After your arrival in the UK, you should collect your BRP and arrange a ‘right to work’ check with your King’s HR contact.
Apply for a: Student visa
Apply for a: Graduate visa
Apply for a: family visa
Apply for an: Ancestry visa
We can provide an interest-free loan to help you pay UK visa fees and immigration health surcharge costs. Email us at UKVI@kcl.ac.uk for details.
Non-EEA staff who require permission to work in the UK and stay for more than six months may be issued with a biometric residence permit (BRP) by the Home Office. You can use the BRP to confirm your:
right to study, rent property or work in the UK
right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to.
You can no longer use your BRP to confirm your right to work or rent. You’ll need to prove your right to work online or prove your right to rent online instead.
Some non-EEA nationals are required to register with the police as a condition of staying in the UK. If you are required to register this will be confirmed on:
the 30-day vignette/stamp in your passport issued to you to allow you to travel to the UK; or
a decision letter when your visa was approved; or
your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
If you are required to register you must do so within 7 days of:
arriving in the UK
getting your BRP if you are extending your stay in the UK
if your partner or family has the same requirement they must also register within 7 days.
If you need to register and do not do this, your permission to stay might be shortened and you’ll have to leave the UK. You may also be prevented from getting or extending a UK visa in the future.
UK Visas and Immigration is responsible for making millions of decisions...
You may need a visa to come to the UK to visit, study or work
King’s provides a UK visa and immigration compliance service.
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