Supplementary activities and studying

Tier 5 visa holders are sponsored to undertake research on a specific project but can also undertake ‘supplementary employment’ with the same or a different organisation alongside their research, as long as they are still undertaking the research they were sponsored to carry out and the supplementary work is:

  • the same type of work, and at the same professional level (i.e. university-level research) and
  • outside their normal working hours and does not interfere with their main role; and
  • no more than 20 hours per week.

As part of a right to work check before any supplementary work starts, the visa holder will need to present a copy of their Tier 5 CoS details, and confirmation from the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) of any additional activities reported (if applicable), to show the type(s) of work they are permitted to undertake.

Notice: 4 April 2024 rules change which expanded supplementary employment for Skilled Worker visa holders does not apply to Tier 5 visa holders

Tier 5 visa holders are still only permitted to undertake supplementary employment which is the same type of work as the activities of their visit.


Expand All

Because only 'supernumerary' research (i.e. activities which do not form any part of ongoing research within the host department/faculty/college, and would not be carried out if the visa holder did not come to the UK) is permitted under the Tier 5 Sponsored Researcher route which the University sponsors, Tier 5 visa holders are not permitted to undertake teaching as part of the purpose of their visit.

A Tier 5 visa holder in a research role can give lectures and talks on their research, as long as this does not form any part of a taught course. If giving lectures and talks has been mentioned as part of their activities in their Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), a Tier 5 visa holder would then be permitted to undertake research and/or teaching as supplementary employment.

A Tier 5 visa holder whose CoS does not make any mention of lectures or talks would only be permitted to undertake research as supplementary employment. If they wished to undertake teaching, they would have to ask their host department/faculty/college to submit a Changes & Leavers form to SIT to report that they would be giving lectures and talks as part of their research activities. They would also have to submit a letter from their funding organisation confirming that they have no objections to their undertaking these activities. SIT would then have to report the new activities to the Home Office before any lectures or teaching commenced.

It is not possible to add teaching duties if the Tier 5 visa holder's funding organisation does not confirm their consent.

Tier 5 visa holders are not permitted to undertake voluntary activities unless this is recorded on their Certificate of Sponsorship.

Prior to undertaking any volunteering the details must be discussed with the Staff Immigration Team.

Tier 5 visa holders are permitted to undertake a course of study in the UK without prior approval from the Home Office; however, those undertaking studies in science, engineering, and technology subjects must check whether the course subject will mean they are required to first obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate.

Further information relating to ATAS and applying for clearance can be found in the University's student visa guidance.

Contact us

Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education

Angelina Pelova, Email: 

Paul Deeble, Email:


MPLS / Social Sciences / Colleges

Lyn Davis, Email:

Richard Birt, Email:




Popular links