Applying from overseas

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Our international community of staff and students are at the heart of our University and we are committed to promoting equality and diversity through inclusion.

We aim to make your transition to living and working in Derby as smooth as possible. Here, you’ll find information about visa routes, moving from overseas, and information to help you plan your finances and accommodation arrangements.


As part of the University’s recruitment process, we will need to be sure that you are eligible to live and work in the UK prior to starting work.

You can check if you and any accompanying family members need a UK visa by using the UK Government's online tool:

The majority of employees coming to work for our University from overseas apply through the Skilled Worker Route, but there are other routes that may be available to you, which are outlined below.

Depending on the role you are offered, you may be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. The University are pleased to be able to offer initial sponsorship for up to three years. You may be eligible to apply to stay in the UK permanently after five years residence in the UK. You can bring your family members (partner and children under 18) with you, to live and work in the UK.

A Skilled Worker visa is granted by the Home Office when:

  • The appointment meets the sponsorship requirements
  • The HR Recruitment Team is notified of the requirement for sponsorship via the offer of employment process
  • The HR Recruitment Team provides sponsorship via the University's A-Rated Premium License
  • The visa application is submitted by an individual which meets the Home Office eligibility requirements

English Language Skills

Please note you will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of a majority English speaking country.

You must have a minimum level of English language and score 10 points in this section, or the visa application will be refused - see:  for more details.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways or need a higher level of English in some circumstances. Visit Skilled Worker visa: Overview - GOV.UK ( for more information.


The University (as your sponsor) will certify on your Certificate of Sponsorship that it will maintain and accommodate you up to the end of your first month of employment in the UK if required (so that you do not claim public funds). No additional evidence is required as this is confirmed on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

The Global Talent visa is part of the UK Government’s commitment to put science, research and innovation at the top of its agenda, allowing researchers, academics and other specialists to work and live in the UK.

This route is available for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, engineering, medicine and humanities, digital technology, and arts and culture.

There are four different routes to obtaining a Global Talent visa and we would encourage you to assess all routes before making a decision. An overview on the routes is provided below.

Route 1: Academic and Research Appointments (fast-track)

Available to individuals appointed to an eligible academic or research position at an approved UK higher education institution or research institute.

Route 2: Individual Fellowships (fast-track)

Awarded to an individual fellowship on the list, approved by the endorsing bodies within the last 5 years.

Route 3: Endorsed Funders

This route is for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI.

Route 4: Peer Review

Available to individuals considered for endorsement by peer review undertaken by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society for assessment under ‘Exceptional Talent’.

You can find out more information about each route by visiting Which Global Talent Visa route is right for me? | The British Academy. If you have any questions please contact us at

The application process consists of two separate stages:

  • Stage 1: Applying for, and obtaining, endorsement from one of the six endorsing bodies engaged by the Home Office
  • Stage 2: Visa application

More information can be found on the website about associated fees.

The visa duration is not tied to the contract of employment, fellowship or grant length.  At the visa application stage, applicants can choose a 1 to 5 year visa duration.

There are no limits on extension applications subject to meeting the criteria. The route leads to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain).

Applicants under the academic and research endorsement routes may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain after a shorter period of 3 years. However, dependants require 5 years’ residency to be eligible.

It is possible for individuals who switch from Skilled Worker into Global Talent to combine the time spent under these visa routes to meet the qualifying period for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The university offer a tax-free loan of up to £3,000 to help cover some of the costs of your visa application. You may also receive a Relocation Assistance Allowance.

Student Visa

Most undergraduate and taught postgraduate students on student visas are restricted to working for a maximum of 20 hours per week work during term-time. Any time during which students have study commitments (this includes any weeks when the student has study commitments, even if this is outside of the standard term-time) is also included in this restriction.

Paid and unpaid work count towards the student's maximum permitted working hours.

Student visa holders are not permitted to:

  • be self-employed
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • be employed as an entertainer
  • take a permanent full-time job
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless they are on the foundation programme.

Students may undertake voluntary work. Any hours spent doing voluntary or unpaid work will count towards the student’s maximum permitted hours of work during term-time.

Following completion of their studies, students may work full-time. Completion of studies is usually interpreted as when the final exam has been taken or after submitting the final version of the thesis (after viva and corrections). In either case, students should not work more than four months full-time on their student visa following completion of studies, unless they have submitted a valid application for a new visa status.

Further information is available on the website on working on the Student Visa.

Graduate visa

A Graduate visa gives an individual permission to stay in the UK for at least two years after successfully completing a course in the UK.

A Graduate visa usually lasts for two years. If an individual has a PhD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for three years.

With a graduate visa, an individual can work in most jobs. More information can be found on the website on working on the Graduate Visa.

If an individual has been in the UK for a qualifying period in an immigration category that leads to settlement, they may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

With ILR status, they no longer have any conditions on their stay in the UK and can work, study or engage in business indefinitely. ILR is also a prerequisite to applying for British citizenship.

To be eligible for ILR, you must first be in the UK on a category that specifically leads to settlement for a time period stipulated under the relevant category.

You do not automatically qualify for ILR on completion of the continuous period of lawful residence in the UK. Individuals need to submit an application for ILR to the UKVI to consider. Individuals would also need to submit evidence of their eligibility for ILR including, but not limited to:

  • Continuous lawful residence in the UK for the required qualify period
  • Absences from the UK not exceeding 180 days in any 12 months of the qualifying period
  • Evidence you have passed a Life in the UK test
  • Evidence of ability to speak English to the required standard
  • Meeting suitability requirements which apply to all routes and which must be met in addition to validity and eligibility requirements. This refers to the UK Government’s General Grounds for Refusal – for example, criminal convictions or breaches of immigration status.

More information on ILR in the UK can be found on the website.

Visa Loan

The University recognises that it is very expensive to obtain work visas in the UK. For successful international applicants who require sponsorship, we can offer an interest-free visa loan of £3,000 to support you with visa-related costs. The loan is repayable in 12 monthly instalments, or earlier if you leave your employment with us.

You may also be eligible for the Relocation Assistance Scheme

If you have any questions or require any support please contact us by email at

After you’ve been granted your visa

Once your visa has been granted by the Home Office, it’s time to start planning your move to the UK! You can find information about relocating to Derbyshire on our website. You’ll be given either a sticker (called a vignette) that goes in your passport or access to view your immigration status online. Either way, you’ll be able to generate a share code so that, as your employer, we can view and prove your immigration status online.

If you have been granted a Skilled Worker Visa, you’ll need to start work within 28 days of the latest of either:

  • The date your visa becomes valid; or
  • The start date listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship (COS); or
  • The date you are granted permission to enter (stated on your entry vignette).

Please bear these timeframes in mind when booking your flights.

More information about temporary accommodation.

More information about permanent accommodation.

Dependent on nationality, some staff who are here in the UK for more than 6 months will be required to register with the police within seven days of their arrival in the UK. If this applies to you, it will be stated on your visa/entry clearance.

If you are working in the UK, you must have a National Insurance number. If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), you may already have been assigned a National Insurance number, which you can find on the back of the card. If you do not have one, you can apply for one online. You can only apply for one once you are in the UK.

It is advisable to open a bank or building society account and deposit your money as soon as possible after arrival in the UK. You must have a UK bank account to receive your salary, therefore we advise you to arrange a meeting with a bank or building society as soon as possible after your arrival in the UK.

Before you leave home, talk to your bank and find out if they have any links with banks in the UK. It may also help to bring a letter from your bank manager with you to confirm your account history. Different banks or building societies may ask you for different documents to open an account; you may want to check this with them before arriving.

There are lots of different banks/building societies and accounts to choose from, and we recommend that you look into the various options to see which is best for you. It is usually easier to open an account with one of the UK’s largest banks – Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC or NatWest.

To open an account, you will need two documents: one to prove your identity and one to evidence your address. If required, you may request an official letter of employment from our People Experience and Culture department to confirm the latter.

Your bank or building society may give you a card and cheque book, which are safer ways to make transactions and access your money, rather than carrying cash around with you.

There will be various costs associated with living in the UK that you should allow for when preparing for your move. Some of the things you should take into consideration are:


Monthly rental and mortgage costs can vary depending on the type of property you are looking at so it’s worth exploring your options.

You would be expected to pay a deposit when you sign a rental agreement. Sometimes, a rental agreement will also include some of the other bills listed below.

Water, Gas and Electricity

You will need to register an account with Severn Trent, the supplier of water to Derby. Rates can range from £100-400 per year depending on usage and are usually billed twice a year. 

Gas and electricity can be provided by one supplier and rates vary. You can compare multiple suppliers using any comparison website.

Council Tax

This is a tax paid to the local authorities for the provision of services such as rubbish collection, police, fire services and street maintenance. The cost depends on the value of the property you are living in, and the number of people over 18 years of age living there.

Television Licence

To avoid receiving a fine, you must have a TV licence to watch or record programmes on a TV, computer or other device as they’re broadcast or if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. A TV licence costs £159 per year which can be paid in full or in instalments.

Telephone and internet

Various deals are available with a variety of internet service providers. Packages range in price depending on your requirements. Most companies ask you sign a 12 month contract, so ensure you have the right package for you. 

Compare broadband, TV and phone deals via, which is an Ofcom approved independent broadband comparison site.


Most people choose to insure their personal belongings and household possessions which is known as Contents Insurance. There are some exceptions to this rule so it’s worth checking the details of each policy to ensure you have the right level of cover. There are comparison websites which can help you compare prices, for example, and

Car Costs

Road tax, MOT and car insurance are all requirements to run a car in the UK. See the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) website for more information. Take care if you are buying a second hand car, although new cars are more costly.

Public Transport Costs

The University is well served by public transport, including frequent and reliable bus links to the city centre, railway station and other areas of Derby. Bus and train timetables - Derbyshire County Council is a useful website to plan your travel via bus.

The NHS (National Health Service) in the UK provides healthcare services to all UK residents. If you are moving to the UK from overseas, you may need to pay a health surcharge (called the immigration health surcharge or 'IHS') as part of your immigration application. Please see the Government website for further details.


To access the National Health Service you first have to register with a doctor, often referred to as a GP (General Practitioner). Doctors in the UK have catchment areas, meaning you can only register at a practice near where you live.


The NHS doctors usually take on patients within a catchment area. You can use the NHS website Find GP service to find a surgery near to you.

More information regarding registering with a doctors surgery can be found on the NHS website.


Dental practices are not subject to a particular catchment area. Simply find a dental practice that is convenient for you, whether near your home or work and phone them to see if any appointments are available. Not all dental practices will have the capacity to take on new NHS patients. If this is the case, you may either choose to be seen privately, join a waiting list or find a dentist that is able to take on new NHS patients.

The NHS website has more information on how to find a dentist near you.

Private Healthcare

There are private healthcare providers however you usually have to pay for these services. If you were wanting to look to join a private healthcare provider, you would need to enquire with a range of providers to find one that suits your requirements.

Other services

The Citizens Advice Bureau is an independent organisation specialising in confidential information and advice to assist people with legal, debt, housing and other issues. Visit Citizens Advice to access their services. has some excellent resources for those struggling with mental health issues. It also lists various support services available in the UK.

Our University partners with Health Assured, who provide confidential and impartial support to all employees free of charge.

Once you have your share code, you’ll need to send it to us at so that we can verify your right to work in the UK.

Before you start in your new role, you’ll also need to visit us at Kedleston Road to bring in your documents for verification. This includes your passport (with entry stamp) and your certificates evidencing your qualifications, as stated on the Job Description.