Overseas Visitors

If you wish to invite an overseas visitor to LSE, you should check whether they need a visa to enter the UK

If you wish to invite an overseas visitor to the UK, you should check whether they need a visa to enter the UK, before confirming the details of their visit. 

Individuals who hold either a UK or EEA passport have the right to enter the UK without restriction and do not require a visa in advance. However, a non-EEA national may need a visa depending on the nature of their visit. 

The type of visa that an individual applies for will depend on the purpose of their visit to the UK. In some circumstances, they may need to apply for their visa in advance of their trip. 

Visitor visa categories

There are three visitor visa categories which allow visitors to come to the UK and the type of visa that they apply for depends on the purpose of their visit. Each visa category sets out the types of activities that they are permitted to undertake.

Visitors are not allowed to undertake employment or any activity that could be deemed as employment.  Visitors cannot normally receive payment, although there are some exceptions depending on the visa category.

For further details about the visitor visa categories, please consult our manager's guide:

A manager's guide to visas for overseas visitors [PDF]

You may also find it helpful to see an example letter template for inviting a visitor to visit.  This example normally supports those who wish to apply to visit in order to undertake a lecture or series of lectures at LSE under the Permitted Paid Engagement route. 

Tier 5 Sponsorship

The Tier 5 (Sponsored Researcher) visa is a specific sub-category within Tier 5 which allows individuals to undertake short-term research in the UK.  

We have compiled a handy guide to explain the Tier 5 criteria and help you through the sponsorship process: 

A manager's guide to Tier 5 (Sponsored Researcher) visas [PDF]

If you would like to nominate someone for Tier 5 sponsorship please complete a nomination form to start the process. If it meets the criteria, please note that the visit will need to be formally approved through one of the School’s internal processes before they arrive. Please refer to the guide for more information. 


If you have any further queries, feel free to contact a member of the HR team at hr.visas@lse.ac.uk.