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Applying from Overseas

If you're applying for a position at Durham University and you currently live overseas, the following pages aim to provide guidance and support regarding immigration and eligiblity to work. 

The Living around the University - <CHANGE TO NEW LINK ONCE PAGE IS LIVE> page provides a useful guide to living and working in the region. 

You might also find useful the independent website for international staff moving to UK Universities.

If you're coming to work at the University in a research position you may find the British Council's Guide for international researchers moving to the UK useful


Please see below several frequently asked questions and their answers.

For further information or to ask a question that is not listed below, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions <INSERT WEBLINK FOR NEW PAGE ONCE LIVE> page or contact the Recruitment Team at



Who is automatically entitled to live work in the UK?

There are a number of ways in which individuals may already be eligible to live and work in the UK. Some of the main categories are:

  •  British Citizens
  •  Nationals of countries covered by the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement
  •  Non EEA nationals granted indefinite leave to remain
  •  Spouses or dependants of full time students or work permit holders
  •  People holding Highly Skilled Migrant Status / Tier 1 eligibility.

These categories are subject to change from time to time, particularly as new countries join the EEA. You are therefore advised to check your own eligibility via the UK Visas and Immigration and up to date information can be obtained via their web pages.

What if I am not already automatically entitled to live and work in the UK?

We can often still legally employ individuals who do not already have an automatic entitlement to live and work in the UK, but we must first apply for permission to do so. In most cases this will involve applying for a work permit / certificate of sponsorship and we will do this as soon as an offer of employment is made. If you are currently residing outside the UK we will send the work permit document / certificate of sponsorship to you as soon as it is granted, and you will then need to make the appropriate arrangements to apply for leave to enter the UK. If you are already in the UK then you will not require leave to enter, but depending on your existing immigration permission you may have to apply for a change of immigration status or an extension to your current leave to remain.

Please note that you will not be allowed to start work until all of these processes have been completed.

If I am not already automatically entitled to live and work in the UK, how will this affect my application for employment?

It is unlawful to discriminate in recruitment or employment on a number of grounds, including nationality or citizenship. Your application for employment will therefore be assessed against your ability to meet the person specification for the job and in line with our standard recruitment and selection processes. If you are subsequently offered employment and you are not automatically entitled to live and work in the UK then we will make the arrangements to obtain a work permit permission / certificate of sponsorship on your behalf.

You should note however, that in order to obtain permission to employ an overseas national who is not already automatically entitled to live and work in the UK, you must be able to show that you meet specific requirements. One of these requirements includes demonstrating that there are no suitable resident workers available to fill the vacancy and/or that the vacancy requires skills and experience which are within a designated shortage area. This means that it is unlikely that we will be granted permission to employ individuals to work in a post which requires only generic or non-specialist skills, or that do not require at least NVQ3 or equivalent qualifications, and our processes must therefore take this into account.