Cobwebs in the corner of an old arch
Arch into Radcliffe Square
(Image Credit: Ming Du / Graduate Photography Competition)

Visas and immigration

Visa requirements

There is information and help available for students who require a visa to study in the UK. 

Student Immigration

The University's Student Immigration website provides guidance on:

  • the type of visa you may require to study at Oxford
  • applying for your visa before you arrive
  • your visa status and legal obligations
  • visa requirements for any family members you bring with you
  • travel during your stay
  • staying on to work after your studies.

You can also contact our Student Immigration team for visa information and help. 

If you are a student from the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland considering graduate study at Oxford, our Oxford and the EU page is continually updated with information on the implications of the UK's exit from the EU. The student visa pages explain whether you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you will need a student visa. You can also visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website for guidance.

Do I need a visa to study at Oxford?

If you are a national of a country in the EEA or Switzerland (and coming before 31 Dec 2020), or you have indefinite leave to remain, you don't need a visa to study in the UK. If you are a national of any other country, you will require a visa for study. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals coming to the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will require a visa unless you have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Irish citizens do not require a visa because of the common travel area. 

If you require a visa to study in the UK, we recommend that you apply for your course by the January deadline.

What kind of visa do I need?

Most students will require a student visa (formerly known as a Tier 4 visa). If you are coming to Oxford for a course or period of study that is six months or less in duration, you may be eligible for a Short-Term Student visa

For more information about the type of visa you will require to study at Oxford, visit the Student Immigration pages.

Arriving

For more information on what to think about before you come to Oxford, and information for new European and international students, visit our page about arriving in Oxford

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Some of our graduate courses in science, engineering, medicine and technology are included in the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) scheme. If you require a visa to study in the UK and you receive an offer to study one of these subjects at postgraduate level in the UK, you must have received your ATAS certificate before you apply for your visa. The following nationalities are exempt from the ATAS requirement: EU, EEA countries and Switzerland. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. Please note that you cannot apply for your visa until an ATAS certificate has been granted

If you receive an offer for a subject covered by ATAS, your academic department will inform you that an ATAS certificate is required. Recognised students coming for one, two or three terms in any of these subject areas below will also need ATAS and your academic department will advise you. As a guide, the courses below are likely to be included in the ATAS scheme:

About these course

  • The list of courses above is provided as a guide and may not be the complete list of Oxford's graduate courses that are included in the ATAS scheme - your department will inform you if an ATAS certificate is required for your course.
  • This list may be updated at any time to reflect the addition of new courses included in the ATAS scheme, or information received about an existing course and its ATAS requirement.
  • For some courses, the requirement to obtain an ATAS certificate may depend on your research area.
  • Any ATAS requirement for a DPhil course also applies to:
    • students who are moved to MLitt or MSc by Research status at transfer or confirmation (which are key milestones for DPhil students);
    • students admitted directly to the DPhil course of a 1+3 programme who had previously been enrolled on the taught MSc course of the 1+3 programme; or 
    • students who are admitted to an MSc by Research course in a subject that is usually only offered at the doctorate level (eg MSc by Research in Zoology).

What happens if I receive an offer for a subject covered by ATAS?

If you receive an offer for a subject covered by ATAS, your academic department will inform you that an ATAS certificate is required. 

How do I apply for an ATAS certificate?

You can apply for your ATAS certificate with a conditional offer from your department; you do not need to have your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number. Your department will need to provide you with a CAH3 code and a research project description, or list of course modules (for taught courses). You must wait for the department to give you this information first before you apply for ATAS. Applications are free, submitted online and take at least 20 working days to be processed. Your certificate will be sent to you by email to include with your visa application.

The following nationalities are exempt from the ATAS requirement: EU, EEA countries and Switzerland. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA.

For more information about applying for ATAS, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. 

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