Under the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange - Sponsored Researcher) visa route academic institutions can sponsor those coming to the UK, on a temporary basis, to take part in one or more of the following activities

  • undertake a supernumerary (not required) research project with collaboration. They must not be filling an advertised position and the work is additional to the department/faculty/college's normal requirements
  • give a lecture/lectures where they are not filling an advertised position and the work is additional to the department/college's normal requirements
  • act as an external examiner. The Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visitor visa route is more appropriate for academics solely acting as an external examiner

Below is an overview of the various requirements connected to a Tier 5 sponsorship:

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The Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa allows researchers to come to the UK to conduct a supernumerary research project in collaboration with the host department or college at University of Oxford.

The sponsored researcher's activities must be in addition to the hosting department's or college's normal staffing requirements. This means they cannot fill a vacancy or undertake duties that a University employee would be expected to do.  

A Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa holder cannot be self-funded or rely on savings for the duration of their stay. They must instead receive funding from their employer overseas, or from an external funding body, to cover their living costs in the UK for the whole duration of the visit.

The visa holder must receive funding which exceeds the hourly minimum wage in the UK.

The hosting department or college will submit a Tier 5 CoS request to the Staff Immigration team. Once SIT are satisfied that all the necessary requirements have been met, a Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship will be issued to the visitor. 


The individual submits a visa application to the Home Office for themselves and any dependants (partner, children under the age of 18) to be granted the Tier 5 visa.


The Tier 5 visa application page provides further details on the visa requirements to be met, which can include tuberculosis screening and maintenance funds.

Contact us

Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education

Angelina Pelova, Email: angelina.pelova@admin.ox.ac.uk 

Paul Deeble, Email: paul.deeble@tss.ox.ac.uk


MPLS / Social Sciences / Colleges

Lyn Davis, Email: lyn.davis@admin.ox.ac.uk

Richard Birt, Email: richard.birt@admin.ox.ac.uk




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