Information for Visiting Scholars
Prior to arrival
- How to apply
- Letter of invitation
- The 'bench fee'
- Visas and Work Permits
- Notification of Arrival
- English Language
The following section gives information on the preparations that visitors will need to undertake prior to arrival in the Department. Whilst much of this is self-explanatory, this section highlights areas in which the Department can help visitors in their preparations, as well as those that it requires visitors to fulfil before they arrive.
In the first instance find an academic in the department of Land Economy who has similar research interests and would like to support you in your work whilst you are in Cambridge. You can find a staff list here: http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk/staff/departmentlist.htm
Send them your CV and research interests. If they say they would like you to come as a visiting scholar send the following to this address
- a copy of your CV and research interests
- the dates you would like to visit
- facilities you would like whilst here (see below for the different bench fee rates)
- Your title Prof/Dr/Ms/Mr/Mrs/Miss and full name
- your full postal address
- The name of the academic who will support your work
The final decision will be made by the Head of Department and if your request is successful you will be sent a letter of invitation. You will be responsible for arranging the appropriate visa to enter the county.
Letter of invitation
A letter of invitation is issued by the Head of Department to all Visiting Scholars. The letter of invitation will be forwarded by email and by post, and a copy will be sent to the visitor’s supervisor/contact within the Department as appropriate.
The letter of invitation is used by the Department as a record of:
- The dates and duration of the visitor’s stay in the Department.
- The monthly ‘bench fee’ that the visitor is expected to pay.
- Whether the visitor will be provided with a personal desk space.
- The other facilities that the Department offers to visitors.
It is important that upon receipt of the letter of invitation visitors check these details to ensure that they are happy with them. Questions regarding any element of the invitation letter and the facilities available to visitors should be addressed prior to arrival in the Department. Confirmation that visitors are able to meet the cost of the bench fee stipulated in the letter of invitation is required. Details of this are given below.
The purpose of the ‘bench fee’ is to cover overheads incurred by the Department as a result of activities carried out by visitors during their stay and to help improve the facilities that we can offer. The Department’s standard ‘bench fees’ are listed below. These rates are from 1 April 2012:
£250 inc vat (with shared office and wifi)
£230 inc vat (with shared office)
or £200 inc vat (without office)
£300 plus vat (totalling £360 per month) (with shared office and Wifi)
£280 plus vat (totalling £336 per month) (with shared office)
or £250 plus vat (totalling £300 per month)(without office)
All ‘bench fees’ entitle visitors to:
- access to communal computing facilities in the Department (PWF);
- £50.00 print credit from the Department’s networked printers;
- access to the Departmental Library (Mill Lane);
- access to other cognate and collage Libraries including the University Library;
- access to Departmental seminars and lectures;
- access to seminars run by other University Departments.
Not included in the ‘bench fee’ are:
- costs incurred on any other consumables;
- travel or other expenses incurred during activities run by the Department/University;
Confirmation of fees
It is important that visitors make themselves fully aware of the costs involved in living in Cambridge and in doing so, that they ensure they have enough funds to cover the period of their stay. The Department requires confirmation prior to arrival, either in writing or by email, that visitors are able to meet the cost of the ‘bench fee’.
Ideally, visitors are requested to pay the bench fee in full and in advance of arrival. However, we understand that due to the nature of sponsorship and the way funds are released that it is not always possible for visitors to pay the full amount in one go. In these circumstances payments may be broken down into instalments in line with the programme of sponsored funds. Visitors who find it necessary to pay the bench fee in instalments should make this known to the Department.
Once arrangements for payment have been agreed visitors will be invoiced accordingly. In some instances it may be more appropriate for the Department to invoice a visitors funding body or institution directly, and visitors should inform the Department if this is the case.
In all cases arrangements for payment of the bench fee should be finalised, as far as possible, prior to arrival in the Department.
How to pay
The preferred method of payment is by cheque. Cheques should be made payable to ‘University of Cambridge’ and forwarded to:
Secretary to the Head of Department
Department of Land Economy
University of Cambridge
19 Silver Street
Cambridge CB3 9EP
However, where necessary it is possible to pay the fees by transfer. If payment is to be made by transfer visitors should ensure that all bank charges are covered and that the full bench fee is received by the Department. The appropriate account details for making a bank transfer will be provided upon request.
Please note that payment may NOT be made in cash.
We recommend that where appropriate visitors contact their ‘local’ British Embassy as soon as possible after acceptance to the Department to ensure that they have time to complete any necessary visa or work permit applications.
Visitors who need a work permit are required to apply for this via the University. This process can take a number of weeks, particularly at peak times. The current fee for work permit applications is £190 and is non-refundable even if the application is declined. Visitors requiring work permits should, in the first instance, contact the Department for assistance.
Visiting scholars are required to make sure they have an appropriate visa to enter the country. The Department is not involved in this process.
Visiting students are required to make sure they have an appropriate visa. If they require a Tier 4 visa as their sponsor the University will need to provide them with a CAS number. This can be done via the Secretary to the Head of the Department and the sponsoring tutor. Information on the requirements for a Tier 4 visa can be found on the PBI webpages:
Further information for visa’s for Visiting Students can be found here:
It is important you read this information carefully. The Department is not responsible for the application of your visa.
Students with enquiries about their visas should follow the procedure below:
- Consult the information, forms and procedures provided on our website and the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). The answers to most queries – particularly those relating to extending your visa and other standard procedures – can be found here.
- If you cannot find an answer to your query make your enquiry using our Online Visa Advice Enquiry Form: Online Visa Advice Enquiry Form
You will then be contacted by the International Student Team. The team would expect to answer within 7 days. However, at times they receive a high volume of queries and are not able to respond within that time. Please note that currently they are not offering a drop-in service for visa enquiries. Thank you for your understanding. In certain circumstances, they will refer you to UKCISA or recommend that you seek independent legal advice.
- If you are requesting a CAS or a correction to your CAS statement, please send an email the general mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org after you have read the information on their website.
- If your query relates to Tier 2 or Tier 5 please contact the Human Resources Compliance Team at email@example.com.
The Department does not supply or take responsibility for finding accommodation for visitors and where possible, we strongly urge that they make arrangements prior to arrival in the UK. The University has it’s own accommodation service who hold a list of available properties and who can give advice on current rents. Visit: www.accommodation.cam.ac.uk
Other good places to look are:
- Cambridge Accommodation Notice Board: http://www.brettward.co.uk
- Cambridge Evening News: http://property.cambridge-news.co.uk/
- Cambridge Rooms in Colleges: http://www.cambridgerooms.co.uk/
The type and standard of accommodation available in Cambridge is varied and it is important that visitors take into consideration all the costs involved.
Please note that visiting students are not exempt from UK Council Tax.
When visitors have finalised their travel arrangements it is requested that they let the Department know the date of their intended arrival in Cambridge. This enables us to have the correct paperwork ready for when they first arrive.
Visiting students with a Tier 4 visa need to adhere to the requirements set out by the UK Border Agency. They will need to provide a copy of their passport photo and visa pages to the Secretary to the Head of the Department. They must visit the office within 7 days of arrival. If this is not done the University must report their non-arrival to the UK Border Agency. If the student knows they are unable to arrive within 7 days of the agreed date, they must inform the office of their new arrival date. During their stay at the Department they must sign in to the office at the beginning of each term of their stay. These dates will be agreed with the office on their arrival at the Department. If the student fails to make these appointments and does not ask beforehand for them to be rescheduled, the University is obliged to inform the UK Border Agency. This could affect their stay in the UK.
Visitors should note that the main activities of the Department and the University are limited to three, eight week terms:
Michaelmas Term: October to Mid-December
Lent Term: Mid-January to Mid-March
Easter Term: End-April to Mid-June
Please note that there are specific requirements for English language training. Visitors are expected to be able to communicate to such a level that they are able to integrate into the Department and make effective use of their time here. For visiting students applying for a Tier 1 visa they need to check the specific language requirements as detailed in their visa application.