The University is a registered UKVI licence holder and, as such, is responsible for preventing illegal migrants working at the University.

Brexit FAQs

The UK is still a member of the EU for now.  This means that the EU citizens continue to enjoy the benefits of freedom of movement including the right to work in another member state.  We appreciate that staff may have a number of questions about how Brexit might affect them, and their families in the longer term.  Human Resources have developed an initial set of FAQ’s to help inform our staff on how Brexit may affect them.  This is an opportunity for us to understand the numerous issues facing EU national staff and we will continue to develop the FAQ’s as more information becomes available. 

In addition Human Resources staff will hold a series of web chats where concerned individuals will have the opportunity to ask any specific queries relating to their own circumstances.  The first of these sessions will take place on the 3rd and 10th of February and full access details will be circulated in due course.  Please also be aware that you can make contact with your HR Partner at any time. 

We will endeavour to provide you with support to your questions where possible or seek further clarity from our own support networks as is deemed necessary.

Preventing Illegal Working

On 29 February 2008, the Government introduced legislation which means that the University as an employer needs to keep records of pre-employment checks on employees' eligibility to work in the UK. To satisfy this requirement we ask prospective employees to provide us with documents from one of the two following lists.

You Must Provide Either

  • One Document From List A or
  • A Combination Of Two Documents from List B

The standard operating procedure for School administrative staff responsible for checking immigration documents can be found here.

List A
  1. A passport showing that you are a British citizen or a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies having the right of abode in the United Kingdom
  2. A passport or national identity card showing that you are a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland
  3. A residence permit, registration certificate or document certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI to a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  4. A permanent residence card issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  5. A Biometric Immigration Document issued by the UKVI which indicates that you are allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, or have no time limit on your stay in the United Kingdom
  6. A passport or other travel document endorsed to show that you are exempt from immigration control, are allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom, have the right of abode in the United Kingdom, or have no time limit on your stay in the United Kingdom
  7. An Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI to you with an endorsement indicating that you are allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom or have no time limit on your stay in the United Kingdom. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  8. A full birth certificate issued in the United Kingdom which includes the name(s) of at least one of your parents. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  9. A full adoption certificate issued in the United Kingdom which includes the name(s) of at least one of your adoptive parents. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  10. A birth certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  11. An adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  12. A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  13. A letter issued to you by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI which indicates that you are allowed to stay indefinitely in the United Kingdom. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
List B

If you choose to provide us with the following documents, we are required to contact you on an annual basis to obtain a further copy.

  1. A passport or travel document endorsed to show that you are allowed to stay in the United Kingdom and is allowed to do the type of work in question, provided that it does not require the issue of a work permit
  2. A Biometric Immigration Document issued to you by the UKVI which indicates that you can stay in the United Kingdom and are allowed to do the work in question
  3. A work permit or other approval to take employment issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit either a passport or another travel document endorsed to show that you are allowed to stay in the United Kingdom and are allowed to do the work in question, or a letter issued either to yourself, your current employer or the University as your prospective employer by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI confirming the same
  4. A certificate of application issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI to or for a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland stating that the holder is permitted to take employment which is less than 6 months old. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also provide evidence of verification by the UK Border Agency Employer Checking Service
  5. A residence card or document issued by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UK Border Agency to a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland
  6. An Application Registration Card issued to you by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI stating that you are permitted to take employment. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit evidence of verification by the UK Border Agency Employer Checking Service
  7. An Immigration Status Document issued to you by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI with an endorsement indicating that you can stay in the United Kingdom, and are allowed to do the type of work in question. If you provide this document to us, it is essential that you also submit an official document giving your permanent National Insurance Number and your name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer
  8. A letter issued to you, your current employer or the University as your prospective employer by the Home Office, Border and Immigration Agency or UKVI which indicates that you can stay in the United Kingdom and are allowed to do the work
Documents which are NOT acceptable

Under the UKVI immigration regulations, we are unable to accept the following documents as evidence of your right to work in the UK:

  • a Home Office Standard Acknowledgement Letter or Immigration Service Letter (IS96W) which states that an asylum seeker can work in the UK
  • a temporary National Insurance Number beginning with TN, or any number which ends with the letters from E to Z inclusive
  • a permanent National Insurance number when presented in isolation
  • a driving licence issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • a bill issued by a financial institution or a utility company
  • a passport describing the holder as a British Dependent Territories Citizen which states that the holder has a connection with Gibraltar
  • a short (abbreviated) birth certificate issued in the UK which does not have details of at least one of the holder's parents
  • a licence provided by the Security Industry Authority
  • a document check by the Criminal Records Bureau
  • a card or certificate issued by the Inland Revenue under the Construction Industry Scheme
Academic and Business Visitors

Standard Visa Visitor Route

the appropriate route for both Business Visitor and Academic Visitor

Overview

The content of this guidance document is a summary of the Standard Visitor Visa Guidance. To view the guidance in full please visit www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/overview.  

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for business-related activities, e.g:

  • You’re coming to the UK for a conference, meeting or training
  • You want to take part in a specific sports related event
  • You’re an artist, entertainer or musician coming to the UK to perform
  • You’re an academic and are doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme

What you can or cannot do

You can

  • Take part in any of the business-related activities mentioned in the visitor rules
  • Study for up to 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit

You can’t

  • Do paid or unpaid work
  • Live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • Get public funds

Duration of Stay

  • For up to 6 months
  • You may be eligible to stay longer if you’re an academic on sabbatical and coming to the UK for research – you, your spouse or civil partner may be able to stay for up to 12 months.
Eligibility

You must always show that:

  • You’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • You’re able to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of your trip
  • You’re able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit
  • Any business or other activities you want to do in the UK, as allowed by the Visitor rules

Academic

You can stay in the UK for 12 months if you are applying as an academic.  You must prove you are highly qualified within your field of expertise, on sabbatical leave from your home institution and visiting to either:

  • Take part in a formal exchange within a UK counterpart
  • Carry out your own research
  • Take part in someone else’s research, teaching or clinical practice, as long as this doesn’t involve filling a permanent teaching post.
Guidance on Supporting Letter from Host

The Letter of support should state the following:

  • The duration of stay
  • The dates of visit
  • The Academic visitor’s employer
  • The Academic’s field of expertise and status with employer
  • The reason for visit (sabbatical, exchange, or outlining the research to be undertaken).  The term “collaborative research” should be avoided.
  • Why you are willing to host the academic visitor
  • That the academic is not filling any post within the University
  • That there will be no payment made to the academic visitor
  • That they will return to their employer at the end of their stated visit
  • Any additional information you deem appropriate in supporting the application.

Please note:

  • That the supporting letter does not guarantee the issue of an Academic Visitor Visa.
  • That the supporting letter from the Academic visitor’s employer must not contradict the supporting letter from the Host.
  • The University of Aberdeen has no responsibility to monitor visiting Academics to the institution.

* Accurate as at date published – 11/02/2016

 

Employing International Students

The University recognises that our students fulfil a number of important roles working within the University; however, registered students are also covered by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act and therefore must provide Human Resources with documentation to prove their eligibility to work in the UK.

Students who undertake paid employment with the University are subject to the same immigration checks as all employees of the University. Where a student is permitted to work under the terms of their Student Visa they can work up to 20 hours per week during term time. During their vacation time and on completion of their studies they are permitted to work full-time until the expiry of their visa. The work undertaken must not fill a full-time permanent vacancy, and must not be self-employed, employed as a doctor in training or as a professional sportsperson (including coach) or entertainer.

It is the Student's responsibility to maintain their visa status throughout their studies and employment by the University remains conditional upon them holding appropriate visa status. Where a student visa is due to expire the University will expect the individual to submit an application for an extension in good time so that they are not out of visa whilst their application is being considered. The UKVI has confirmed that it would be reasonable to allow a student worker to continue in employment if proof of their application for a visa extension is provided along with the Line Manager undertaking regular checks (at intervals of not more than 6 weeks) with the individual on whether their visa had been received.

Romanian & Bulgarian Workers

Until 1 January 2014, if you were a Bulgarian or Romanian national you only had a right to reside in the UK if you came into one of the following categories:

  • you were working in authorised employment and had registered with the Workers Authorisation Scheme
  • you had completed 12 months' authorised employmentwith fewer than 30 days of non-working time within that period
  • you were self-employed
  • you were self-sufficient
  • you were a student
  • you were a family member of an EEA national in the UK who themselves had a right to reside.

From 1 January 2014, you no longer have to register with the Workers Authorisation Scheme if you are working in the UK. From this date all Bulgarian and Romanian nationals have the same rights as other EEA nationals to live and work in the UK.

Sponsorships

Information about the different types of Visas and sponsorship requirements.

 

Current Scheme

Tier 1

This tier has replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant visa and is designed to allow highly skilled people to come to the United Kingdom to look for work or self-employment opportunities. This application process is undertaken by the employee themselves as it is not linked to one employer and the individual can work for any employer throughout the duration of the visa without the need to apply for an additional visa. Applicants are awarded points based on their qualifications, previous earnings, experience, age, English language skills and available maintenance funds.

Please note that this route is now closed for new entrants to the United Kingdom.

 

Tier 2

Tier 2 was introduced on 27 November 2008 and replaces the previous Work Permit scheme for workers coming to the UK with a job offer. To make an application under this category an individual must have a sponsor (the employer) and a valid certificate of sponsorship granted by the employer. As under the previous work permit scheme, there is a 2 stage process replacing the work permit and leave to remain with the Certificate of Sponsorship and Tier 2 visa.

 

Certificate of Sponsorship

The University has been granted a Licence to act as a Tier 2 Sponsor and therefore is permitted to sponsor recruited employees with a Certificate of Sponsorship to undertake work in the UK.

The Certificate of Sponsorship replaces the work permit and as we apply for it online it is issued immediately compared to the 2-3 weeks previously required to be granted a work permit. It is not a paper document but simply a unique reference number which the employee then uses to make their application for a visa or entry clearance.

As a Sponsor we have had to stipulate how many Certificates we are likely to issue per year and therefore to ensure that none are wasted we must be comfortable that an individual meets the points criteria before we grant a certificate.

 

Visa

When applying for the Tier 2 visa points are awarded based on qualifications; future expected earnings; sponsorship; English language skills and available maintenance funds. Before an application will be considered you must have a minimum of 70 points, the allocation of points is detailed on the UKVI Points Calculator.

 

Section Certificate of Sponsorship Qualifications Prospective Earnings (£)

A (50 points needed)

Shortage Occupation 50 points

None 0 points

Below £20,000 0 points

Resident Labour Market Test 30 points

NVQ 3 5 points

£20,000 to £23,999 10 points

Switching from post-study work category 30 points

BSc 10 points

£24,000 to £27,999 15 points

Intra-Company Transfer 30 points

MSc or PhD 15 points

£28,000 to £31,999 20 points

£32,000 or above 25 points

B (10 points needed)

Maintenance requirement

10

 

C (10 points needed)

Competence in English

10

 

 

 

Sponsorship Requirements

The Points Based Immigration System came into effect on 27 November 2008 and at this time a number of audit requirements were introduced to ensure that Sponsors comply with the immigration processes.

The University is therefore required to:

  • Carry out appropriate pre-employment immigration and nationality checks on all employees
  • Maintain up to date contact details for all migrant workers
  • Be able to demonstrate good HR practice in respect of recruiting and employing migrant workers
  • Report to the UK Border Agency the following:
    • non-appearance of a foreign national
    • absence from work for 10 days
    • changes to the migrant worker's employment conditions
    • if the worker stops working for the University
    • any suspicions that the worker is breaching the terms of their visa
  • Provide proof of professional accreditations required by the migrant worker to undertake their job, and their renewal
Settlement

The information on this page explains what is required to apply for permission to settle here, including timescales and tests for the Indefinite Leave to Remain. Also, Outlines how you can become a British Citizen, including the criteria that must be met. 

 

Indefinite Leave To Remain

After individuals have lived and worked legally (under Tier 2, Tier 1 or old work permit) in the UK for a period of 5 years they currently become eligible to apply for permission to settle here.

This is known as 'Indefinite Leave to Remain'. 

  • Applications can be made within 28 days of the qualifying 5 year period
  • Staff should be encouraged to pay the premium rate to apply in person as postal applications can take up to 6 months
  • This is a personal application and does not require endorsement from the University
  • If including partner and dependants this can be an expensive process

UK Settlement

To settle in the UK (indefinite leave to remain), you will have to pass the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK Test (KOLL). The KOLL test designed to make sure you are aware of the basics of UK life - things you should know if you are planning to live there permanently. It tests your knowledge of UK customs, government, law and values.

The Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK test will cover the following topics:

  • The values and principles of the UK
  • Traditions and cultures from around the UK
  • Events and people that have shaped the UK's history
  • UK government and law
  • How to get involved in the UK community

The test is to be taken on a computer in a designated testing facility in the UK. You will be asked 24 questions and be given 45 minutes to complete the test. There is no limit to the number of times the test can be taken, so don't worry if you don't pass the first or even the second time.

Language Test

To pass the KOLL English test, you must speak English*, understand spoken English and be able to read English. You can meet this requirement in one of four ways:

  • You are a national of a majority English speaking country.
  • You have obtained a degree taught in English.
  • You can prove that your knowledge of English is equivalent to B1 (intermediate level) on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).
  • You can obtain a speaking and listening qualification in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at Entry levels 1,2 or 3. You must study at an accredited institution on a course of study which uses citizenship-based teaching materials.

*If you are taking the test in Scotland, you may request to take it in Scottish Gaelic. If you are taking the test in Wales, you may request to take it in Welsh.

Citizenship / Naturalisation

There are different ways to become a British citizen. The most common is called ‘naturalisation’.

You can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation if:

And you must usually have: 

  • lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application
  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • been granted indefinite leave to stay in the UK (or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national) - this means there’s no specific date that you have to leave
  • had indefinite leave to stay in the UK for the last 12 months (or permanent residence if you’re an EEA national)
  • not broken any immigration laws while in the UK

There are different requirements if your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen.

You can’t include any time spent in the UK when you’re exempt from immigration control (eg as a diplomat or member of visiting armed forces) as part of the 5 years.

For more information visit the 'Become a British Citizen' page. 

 

 

FAQs
1. Do I need a Visa?

Check if you need a Visa 

2. Can a Dependant of a Work Permit Holder Get a Visa?

A dependant of a work permit holder can obtain a visa for entry to the UK that will match the duration of the work permit holders leave to remain. The dependant must be under 18 years of age, not be living independently and is unable to financially support themselves.

3. Can a Dependant of a Points-based System Migrant Get a Visa?

Yes, see UKVI document PBS Dependant Policy Guidance

4. Do we report to UKVI if a migrant worker gets Indefinite Leave to Remain or Gains British Citizenship? 

There is no need to report this to UKVI, even if the existing permission (work permit or points-based) still has some time to run. The HR Section will update their database to reflect the new visa details, and if someone has gained British citizenship, their nationality can be changed to British. Copies of original documents should be taken.

5. Can an Individual who is Working for us on a Dependant's Visa Switch into Tier 2 for the Same Job?

Switching (the term used when a migrant who is already legally in the UK changes immigration status from one immigration category to another) is only permissible in certain limited situations. Switching enables some of the criteria for points to be waived. It is not possible to switch from a dependants visa into Tier 2 (General), or any of the other Tier 2 sub-categories.

In certain circumstances the individual may be able to apply for their own Tier 1 (High value migrants) leave to remain (for a maximum of 3 years), and then be free to take up any employment in the UK for the period of the leave to remain.

However, in many cases the only option is to advertise the post that the individual is in. If the individual has the appropriate qualifications, English Language and maintenance (funds) and no EEA national is suitable for the job, then it may be possible to apply through Tier 2 (General) for a Certificate of Sponsorship.

6. How Long After a Position is Advertised Can we Apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

A Certificate of Sponsorship must be assigned within 6 or 12 months of the date the vacancy was first advertised, depending on the nature and level of position.

7. How Long does a Certificate of Sponsorship Remain Valid?

A certificate of sponsorship under Tier 2 remains valid for 3 months from the date of assignment by the UKVI Managed Migration online system. An application for leave to enter or remain in the UK must be made within that 3 month period.

8. How Much Time Can an Employee Remain in the Country after the End of the Period of Employment?

The UKVI will normally give the employee leave to enter and remain in the UK one month more than the period of employment or 3 years and one month, whichever is shorter. Therefore, depending on how far in advance of the start date the employee entered the country (see Q7 above) the employee should have a leave to remain for a minimum of 14 days after the end of the employment.

Biometric Residence Permit BRP

EU Regulations require that Member States granting leave for more than six months to non EEA nationals do so using a Biometric Residence Permit. The BRP will be the sole form of evidence of the leave granted and as such will replace the current visa that is put in a travel document.

Any non-EEA national applying from overseas for permission to stay in the UK for more than six months will be required to apply for a BRP and then to collect it within ten days of their first arrival in the UK.

As part of the visa process the applicant will be required to provide their intended date of travel, a UK address and post code. The UK post code submitted as part of the application process will be used to identify the branch of the Post Office to which the Biometric Residence Permit will be sent for collection by the applicant. Help will be provided as part of the application process to guide the applicant in selecting the most appropriate Post Office collection branch.

Successful applicants will receive a letter informing them of the decision, which will also include notification that they must collect their BRP from the designated Post Office branch within 10 days of arrival in the UK. The passport or travel document will also be endorsed with a 30 day short validity (travel) vignette - which will be valid for thirty days from the expected date of travel provided by the applicant - to enable them to travel to the UK and to collect their BRP.

You must have a biometric residence permit (BRP) if you want to:

You don’t have to apply separately for a BRP. You’ll give your personal data when you make your visa or immigration application.

What’s on your BRP?

Your BRP will include:

  • your name, date and place of birth
  • your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your ‘biometric information’)
  • your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • whether you can access public funds (eg benefits and health services)

You can use your BRP to confirm your:

  • identity
  • right to study or work in the UK
  • right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to

Your BRP will be sent to you by post if you’re making your immigration or visa application from inside the UK. If you apply from outside the UK you’ll have to collect it from a Post Office in the UK.

For further guidance please refer to the UKVI website.

UK Health Surcharge Fee

The UK Government is introducing an immigration health surcharge on 6 April 2015.  The health surcharge will be paid by non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join family for a period of more than 6 months.  It will also be paid by non-EEA nationals who area already in the UK and apply to extend their stay after 6 April 2015.  There are some exempt groups who fall within the above categories but do not need to pay the surcharge.

The surcharge is £200 per year for all other temporary visa and immigration applications made overseas and in the UK.  Dependents will pay the same amount as the main application.

Those who have paid the surcharge or are exempt will be able to access the National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as a permanent UK resident.  Payment maybe be required for some services such as dental treatment and eye tests.

When you make your immigration application you will be asked some question to see if you need to pay the health surcharge or if you’re exempt.  You must pay the health surcharge before you finish your immigration application.  If the surcharge is required, but not paid, the application will be refused or treated as invalid and rejected.  In an application is unsuccessful the surcharge will be refunded.

Permitted Paid Engagements

You can apply for a Permitted Paid Engagement visa if you:

For more information, please visit the GOV.UK page.