Visiting postgraduate researchers

Schools may be approached by potential PGR visitors. To be eligible for PGR miscellaneous study the applicant must be studying a research degree elsewhere and will be visiting the University of Leeds to undertake research toward this degree.

Please read the guidance carefully before inviting a visiting PGR.

Fees

Unless there is a formal exchange arrangement between the University of Leeds and another university, then it is expected that PGRs visiting for over 1 month should make payment for the use of facilities.

There is a minimum standard annual fee for 12 months of study:

2018/19: £1830

This can be broken down pro-rata as follows:

 1 month  £152.50
 2 months  £305
 3 months  £457.50
 4 months  £610
 5 months  £762.50
 6 months  £915
 7 months  £1067.50
 8 months  £1220
 9 months  £1372.50
 10 months  £1525
 11 months  £1677.50

This minimum fee only covers University overheads; the School will not derive any income from this. Schools can agree to pay on behalf of the visitor using a Form 21.

If the PGR visitor will have a significant consumption of academic resources schools may charge the normal full time international fee. The definition of “significant consumption of academic resource” may be different in various Schools but might in general include some or all of the following:

• a supervisory and advisory load upon a member(s) of the academic staff which is similar to that provided for a research degree candidate

• significant technical assistance and support

• use of laboratory facilities and consumables

• participation in advanced skills and generic training courses offered by the Faculty, SDDU or other University providers

In addition to the academic fee, if the research of the visitor will entail specific identifiable costs for the School a “bench fee” may be charged but the basis for this in terms of consumables, equipment and other resources should be clearly identified in any correspondence with the student/sponsor and in information for Postgraduate Research and Operations.

Visa Arrangements

International visitors will need to comply with immigration rules, so an agreed policy and process are in place. Schools should be aware that some students registered at EU institutions wishing to visit the UK may be international students and the visa arrangements set out below will apply.

An international student who is coming to the UK to undertake study must hold either a Short-Term Study Visa (formerly Student Visitor Visa) or a Tier 4 General Student Visa. If the person already has some other form of visa they should contact the International Student Office for advice before travelling – it may be that if they commence full time study on that visa, they would be in breach of their current visa regulations and not able to apply for a student visa from within the UK.

Student Visitor Letter

Students who need a Short Term Study Visa will need to apply for this with a Student Visitor Letter. This is produced and provided by the School for those international student visitors to Leeds for periods of time of six months or less. A template can be found here. You may include additional details, but do not remove any sections in the template.

Up to 1 month (International and Home/EU)

    Registration as a student is not required.

    When very short visits (of up to one month) take place it is not proposed that individuals should register as students of the University. It is therefore not necessary for them to complete a University application form. However, the applicant must be registered to study at a higher education institution for a research degree level qualification for at least the duration of the visit.

    Visa Requirements

    International student visitors will require a Short-term Study Visa

    This visa status entitles the holder to remain in the UK for a period of up to six months and this CANNOT be extended. No work, paid or unpaid, is permitted.

    Where a Short-term Study Visa is issued the University is NOT required to undertake Home Office Tier 4 sponsorship duties e.g. attendance monitoring or reporting on leavers/non registration.

    The School will need to produce a Student Visitor Letter if the visitor is international for visa purposes.

    Fees

    In most cases of this kind, no fee will be due to the University. The School can make their own arrangements to charge a fee if they wish.

    An overview of the process can be found here.

1 month - 6 months (International and Home/EU)

    This guidance covers International applicants visiting for 1-6 months, and Home/EU applicants visiting for any period over 1 month
    These visitors will register as students
    Visa Requirements
    This visa status entitles the holder to remain in the UK for a period of up to six months and this CANNOT be extended. No work, paid or unpaid, is permitted.
    Where a Short-term Study Visa is issued the University is NOT required to undertake Home Office Tier 4 sponsorship duties e.g. attendance monitoring or reporting on leavers/non registration.
    The School will need to produce a Student Visitor Letter if the visitor is international for visa purposes.
    PGRO will produce a formal offer letter.
    Fees
    Unless there is a formal exchange arrangement between the University of Leeds and another university, then it is expected that students should make payment for the use of facilities.
    In some situations a formal reciprocal agreement will be in place with the Institution where the student visitor is currently studying. In these cases any fee can be waived if there is an existence of a formal reciprocal agreement. If there is a fee waiver then this should be noted in the conditions box.
    PGR & Operations should be advised of the number of months of the visit (including dates) via the Schools Recommendation Report. PGR & Operations will inform Strategy and Planning Office for Resource Allocation Model purposes.
    Process
    • Visitors must apply using the online admissions system
    the applicant must be registered to study at a higher education institution for a research degree level qualification for at least the duration of the visit
    • Schools must check and complete the School section of the Schools Recommendation Report. It should then be sent to PGRO
    In the conditions box it should state:
    a) the number of months (including dates) that the visitor will be studying for, and
    b) what fee is to be charged
    International applicants studying with a School which comes under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ATAS scheme will require ATAS clearance and the School must provide PGR & Operations with the relevant “Initial Proposed Summary of Research Area Letter” alongside the School Recommendation Report
    • PGR & Operations update the Banner record and inform Student Finance (Fees) of the fee details. Student Finance (Fees) will amend Banner. Where a fee is payable it should be noted that the student will not be able to register until this fee is paid in full
    • The University (PGR & Operations) will, assuming no problems with the application, issue an unconditional acceptance letter containing the details of the offer. (If applicable the ATAS statement will also be included with the offer letter)
    • Applicants accept as normal
    • The School will issue their usual communications and instructions to the visitor
    Schools must produce a Student Visitor Letter for International Students to use in a visa application
    • A Registration Report will be produced by PGR & Operations as normal and sent to the School at the point that the person is eligible to register as a student. This report is for information only. If any form 21’s are required then they should be sent to the Fees Office before informing the student that they can register
    • The visitor can then register as a miscellaneous research non-degree (non-award bearing) student via the normal on-line registration system route and obtain a student ID card

An overview of the process can be found here.

+6 months (International)

    These visitors will register as students

    Visa Requirements

    International student visitors will require a Tier 4 General Student Visa

    In order for the applicant to apply for a General Student Visa then the University must issue a CAS to the applicant. This means the applicant must demonstrate that they meet University academic and English Language requirements and be eligible to hold an unconditional offer. They will also need to apply for ATAS clearance if relevant.

    PGRO will issue a formal offer letter.

    Fees

    Unless there is a formal exchange arrangement between the University of Leeds and another university, then it is expected that students should make payment for the use of facilities.

    In some situations a formal reciprocal agreement will be in place with the Institution where the student visitor is currently studying. In these cases any fee can be waived if there is an existence of a formal reciprocal agreement. If there is a fee waiver then this should be noted in the conditions box

    PGR & Operations should be advised of the number of months of the visit (including dates) via the Schools Recommendation Report. PGR & Operations will inform Strategy and Planning Office for Resource Allocation Model purposes.

    Process

    • Visitors must apply online

    Applicant must be registered to study at a higher education institution for a research degree level qualification for at least the duration of the visit. Additionally, for a Tier 4 student visas, the applicant must be enrolled on a course that is at least equivalent to the level of a UK Bachelor’s degree

    • International applicants requiring a CAS must demonstrate:

    • English Language - all Tier 4 sponsors must assess their Tier 4 (General) students’ level of English language competence. This means the applicant must have met the required standards by:

    • Holding a degree from a majority English speaking country
    • Being a national of a majority English language speaking country
    • Having obtained the relevant standards in IELTS or equivalent (see English Language booklet

    • Academic Evidence – highest awarded qualification to date

    • Schools must check and complete the School section of the Schools Recommendation Report It should then be sent to PGRO

    In the conditions box it should state:

    a) the number of months (including dates) that the visitor will be studying for, and

    b) what fee is to be charged

    • International applicants studying with a School which comes under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ATAS scheme will require ATAS clearance and the School must provide PGR & Operations with the relevant “Initial Proposed Summary of Research Area Letter” alongside the School Recommendation Report

    • PGR & Operations update the Banner record and inform Student Finance (Fees) of the fee details Student Finance (Fees) will amend Banner. Where a fee is payable it should be noted that the student will not be able to register until this fee is paid in full

    • The University (PGRO) will, assuming no problems with the application, issue an unconditional acceptance letter containing the details of the offer (If applicable the ATAS statement will also be included with the offer letter)

    • Applicants accept as normal

    • For international students, PGRO need the School Recommendation, evidence of English Language, Academic evidence and, if relevant, ATAS summary of research area, before an offer can be made/CAS issued. The University does not issue conditional offers to these applicants.

    • PGR & Operations will issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) Statement to the applicant which contains the CAS number, University Sponsor Licence number and details of the fee to be charged where appropriate. This will enable the student to apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa.

    The CAS has a life span of 6 months but can only be used up to 3 months prior to the start date. Therefore PGR & Operations will issue the CAS when appropriate.

    • On arrival, individuals must register via the on-line registration system as miscellaneous non-degree (non-award bearing) students and obtain a Student ID card. The University will also need to take a copy of relevant passport and visa information

    An overview of the process can be found here.

    Attendance Monitoring for International Students

    For international students on a Tier 4 visa, the University is required to undertake Tier 4 sponsorship duties. This means the University has responsibility for reporting non-registration, unauthorised non-attendance, apparent leavers and monitoring the attendance of these individuals.

    Schools must have arrangements in place for monitoring attendance and for reporting non-attendance to Postgraduate Research and Operations.

    Examples of attendance monitoring events at research level are:

    • Formal supervision meetings with supervisor

    • School activities associated with registration and other routine communication

    • Induction and training courses

    • Meeting with Supervisor to discuss and review any training plan

    • SDDU courses and Faculty Training (including Research Seminars involving giving presentations)

    • Formal review meetings

    • Meetings with Postgraduate Research Tutor or other relevant staff

    • Attendance at External conference/meetings

    • Other events at School level

    It is recognised that there are different events and timelines within different schools which reflect the varying nature of research study. Schools may already have their own practices which relate to these events.

    Therefore as a minimum, schools will be required to put the following procedure in place:

    i) Supervisors (or other relevant staff) will be required to report to the school/faculty when there has been no contact with individual research students within any 1 month period (unless absence has been authorised for events such as fieldwork, illness, etc.), or where there is a pattern of absences which is affecting the student’s work or causing concerns for the student’s wellbeing.

    ii) An investigation should then be carried out within the School which will provide an opportunity for issues to be resolved with the student.

    iii) Where issues are not resolved, a full report will be sent by the faculty/school to PGR & Operations indicating that the student should be required to withdraw from the University.

    iv) PGR & Operations will carry out any other appropriate enquiries, and then after further review, notify the Home Office of withdrawal.

Additional information

    Please make sure any websites promoting visiting PGR opportunities reflect the below paragraph:

    Schools should be aware that some students registered at EU institutions wishing to visit the UK may be international students and the visa arrangements set out below will apply: An international student who is coming to the UK to undertake study must hold either a Short-Term Study Visa (formerly Student Visitor Visa) or a Tier 4 General Student Visa. If the person already has some other form of visa they should contact the International Student Office for advice before travelling – it may be that if they commence full time study on that visa, they would be in breach of their current visa regulations and not able to apply for a student visa from within the UK.

    Partnerships – e.g. Centre for Doctoral Training CDT’s

    These students will normally either apply online for the specific miscellaneous programme code or we will accept a copy of the application to their main University providing it has the core data we need to create a Banner registration record.

    Student visitors wishing to undertake taught studies

    These student visitors must contact the appropriate office:

    Undergraduate and taught admissions – enquiriesadmissions@leeds.ac.uk

    Language Centre – langc@leeds.ac.uk

    Study Abroad – studyabroad@adm.leeds.ac.uk

    Visits by International Visitors (equivalent to Staff Status)

    Enquiries about the position of international visitors who are not students but have a more senior status may be addressed to HR - Caroline Langham (c.j.langham@adm.leeds.ac.uk).

    Immigration routes for International visitors can be seen here.

    Further Queries

    You can find more information on research, study and academic visits on the University of Leeds website. Further questions about postgraduate research student visitors and visa issues may be directed to Postgraduate Research and Operations and the International Student Office respectively.