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.

Do I need a visa to study at Oxford?

If you have pre-settled or settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to remain, you will not need a visa. Otherwise, most other non-UK nationals will need a student visa, except Irish citizens who 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 December or January deadline for your course.

If you are considering studying on a part-time basis, please read the information about visa eligibility for part-time courses.

What kind of visa do I need?

Most students will require a student 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 to come as a visitor.

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


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
  • 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 (30 working days or more in the April to September busy period) to be processed. Your certificate will be sent to you by email to include with your visa application.

More information about applying for ATAS including FAQs and guidance for completing the online form, is provided in our visa and immigration pages. 

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