Legal information


Passports/working permissions/visa

It is the responsibility of the employee to ensure their passport is valid for the whole period of their overseas employment. Further information can be found at If the employee is not a UK citizen they should also check their native country’s website for relevant guidance. 

When being posted overseas, staff should ensure that they meet the visa and immigration requirements to live and work in the host country. A work visa is often required, even for short-term assignments. Other forms of visa (business, visit, travel) usually have strict limitations and are generally inadequate where work is being undertaken in the host country. Tourist visas are almost always inadequate if you are travelling on University business.

Visa and immigration requirements will vary by country. Staff should check with the relevant embassy or consular office for up to date information on the requirements of the host country. If further advice or support is required to obtain a visa staff should contact their relevant HR Advisor.

If staff visit or work overseas without the correct authorisations in place, they could be subject to fines, deportation or detention, and the University may be blacklisted from future employment or engagement with the host country.

Some countries restrict the entry of people with certain medical conditions (please see Health.)

If an employee is working for the University in the UK prior to any overseas working, and they are working under a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa then they must inform their HR Business Partner in the first instance.  Any change in circumstances will need to be reported to the UKVI. The period of time they work overseas may also have implications for their current visa if this expires once they are out of the UK, future applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK etc.

Employee responsible for ensuring passport, visa and immigration requirements are met
HR Advisor to provide advice and guidance where required

Intellectual Property

Academic staff must ensure that any intellectual property arising out of working at another university is considered in advance. Host institutions may ask visiting academics to sign an Honorary/Visitors Contract passing the IP to the host institution. This should be discussed prior to travel with Research Services to ensure that commercial rights are not waived inappropriately.

Employee to discuss any concerns/issues with Research Services

Data Protection

It should be noted that under the Data Protection Act where personal data is transferred out of the European Economic Area (EEA) the University must ensure that the recipient country provide adequate level of protection for the data and that the data subject is aware that their personal information will be sent outside the EEA.

Further guidance on data protection can be provided by the data protection and freedom of information office.

HRBP/Advisor to ensure that legislation is met

Culture and local law

Working overseas can be an opportunity to immerse in a completely different culture and live in a completely different way to that which would normally be experienced in the UK. In order to not experience difficulties it is important for staff to remember that they are in a culture with different laws and etiquettes to that which they are used to at home.

It is recommended that staff research the local laws and customs before leaving for their work assignment.

The government’s foreign travel advice provide the latest information on matters such as safety and security, local laws and customs and health by country. Employees should read this information before travel.

Employee responsible for understanding local laws and customs and should read the Government’s foreign travel advice relevant to the country they will be working

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010, the main UK discrimination legislation, is not explicit about its territorial scope. This means that dependant on the specific circumstances this legislation may apply to staff based overseas. The Universities Equality Statement outlines a commitment by the University to promote equality in all its activities and aims to provide a work, learning, research and teaching environment free from discrimination and unfair treatment. These principles should apply regardless of geographical location.

Employee to read Code of Conduct standard

Bribery Act 2010

Employees should be particularly careful to ensure they do not expose themselves to unethical business practices whilst overseas. Employees should make themselves aware of the Code of Conduct standards and policies.

Employee to read Code of Conduct standard/policies