Visas and Immigration

This page is to provide guidance on UK immigration law for employees, workers and visitors to the university.

The links below will direct you to information provided by the UK Visas and Immigration.

The majority of citizens of the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) are permitted to live and work in the United Kingdom without a visa. Croatian nationals however, are under temporary restrictions and should refer to this guidance if they wish to work in the UK.

All employees before starting work at Aberystwyth University will need to complete a right to work check with a trained member of staff. The new employee will need to bring in an official document that satisfies the Right to Work Checklist. Trained departmental staff should use this checklist alongside the Right to work signature form (word) as part of this process. Right to Work Guidance (PDF) is available and examples can be provided to staff to highlight the new process.

All current staff or individuals considering applying to work at Aberystwyth University are welcome to contact either Sam Morrison ( or the Employee Services Team ( / 01970 628555) to discuss any queries or concerns they may have regarding visas and immigration.


European Economic Area Nationals Information

We are currently adding more documentation on here providing information on the status of European nationals following Britain's decision to exit from the European Union.

The official current status of EU nationals is outlined on the Home Office website
EEA Permanent Residency document Feb 2017 
If you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us on 01970 628555 or Alternatively, you can contact Ruth Fowler ( or Sam Morrison ( directly.

Tier 4 

This section provides information regarding Tier 4 students working at Aberystwyth University. For non-working matters all queries should be made to the International Office.

A Tier 4 visa enables Tier 4 students to work for a limited amount of hours per week during term-time. Tier 4 visa holders' working hours restrictions can vary depending on their course and on the time of year, please refer to the Aberystwyth University dates of term (2016/17 and 2017/18) for deciding the Easter, Summer and Christmas breaks.


Tier 5 - Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange

Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange

From 1 January 2021, this route can be accessed by EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who were not resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.

The Temporary worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa allows you to be in the UK for a short period of time undertaking work experience, training, taking part in an Overseas Government Language Programme, or conducting some research that “aims to share knowledge, experience and best practice”.

This visa route was formally known as Tier 5 (GAE).

In practice, as a Higher Education Institution, the University is permitted to use the GAE visa route to sponsor 'researchers' (which includes academics, researchers, scientists, research engineers or other skilled research technology specialists) for a maximum duration of 2 years to undertake the following activities:

  • A formal research project or collaboration
  • A period of work-based training/work experience/internship/placement;
  • Skill development/knowledge transfer;
  • A series of lectures, which doesn’t amount to a formal teaching post;
  • External examinations.

The full criteria for the Higher Education GAE visa scheme can be found here.

Students and Tier 4 Visa Holders

Students on a Student or Tier 4 visa are able to switch to a Temporary worker (GAE) visa in the UK if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid Student or Tier 4 visa that has not expired
  • Have a certificate of sponsorship from a Home Office approved sponsor
  • Have £1,270 in savings in your bank account for 90 days before you apply, or confirmation from your sponsor that you will not claim public funds during your stay

ATAS Requirements

From 21 May 2021, relevant international researchers applying for a GAE visa must have obtained an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate as part of their visa application. The ATAS requirement only applies to certain nationalities, and in certain roles and research fields.

For further guidance on the ATAS scheme and making an application, please see the guidance here.

Applying for a GAE Visa

More information on applying to a Tier 5 visa is available from the GOV.UK here.