Before you arrive | University of Oxford
Student visas
Students get to use the library and seminar rooms of the Department of Education in Norham Gardens to study.
Copyright © Rob Judges Photography. This image comes from Oxford University Images. All rights reserved.

Before you arrive

If you are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you do not need a visa to come to the UK to study. If you are from a country outside of the EEA, please check which visa you require below.

For updates and information about the coronavirus (Covid-19) including visa implications e.g. studying remotely, travel restrictions, visa expiration see the University's webpage.
The UKCISA website also has useful information and the latest Home Office updates.

Non-European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals

If you are planning to travel to the UK to undertake a course at the University and are not a national of the EEA or Switzerland you may need to apply for a visa before travelling.

The type of permission/visa you require will depend on the type of course.

  • To attend a full time course for longer than six months you must apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. Details of the requirements and a guide explaining how to complete the online application form are available from the Tier 4 webpage.
  • For a short course or to undertake a period of study as a visiting student for less than six months, you will need to use the Short-Term Student route or apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa.
  • For distance learning courses where short visits are undertaken over more than six months, you will also use the Short-Term Student route.
  • For part-time courses longer than six months with a weekly or monthly attendance requirement you will not be eligible for a Tier 4 visa or the Short Term Student route based on the structure of the course.
  • Please be aware, if you are bringing family members with you, you may also require a visa for your family.

If you are eligible for a visa for the UK in another capacity - for example as a dependant of another student, or as a worker, or ancestry - you may be allowed to study with this permission. If you are studying a subject that requires an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (postgraduate research students and undergraduate students in science, engineering and technology subjects) you will also need to obtain an ATAS certificate before you can enrol on the course.

European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals

The University’s information on the implications of Brexit for our current and future EU students is here

What is the EU Settlement Scheme and should you apply?

Presentation and Question and Answer session about the scheme
For University of Oxford students only
Click on the dates below  for more information and to book a place:
Tuesday 3 March 1.15 - 2.15pm
Further dates to follow...

The rights and status of EU citizens already living in the UK or arriving to do so by 31 December 2020  will remain the same until 30 June 2021. If you are an EU national or family member and plan to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 you need to apply to the Settlement Scheme by that date to get either settled or pre-settled status. The UK has made agreements to cover you if you are from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland as well.

If you are not planning to live in the UK beyond 30 June 2021 you do not have to apply under the Settlement Scheme.

If you have been living in the UK continuously for five years, without spending more than six months outside the UK in any 12 month period you will get Settlement. If you have been living in the UK for less than this, you will get Pre-settlement and you can apply for Settlement when you meet the residence requirement.

It is free to apply and further information about the scheme is available on the Government website.

The arrangements for EU nationals arriving and wishing to live, study or work in the UK beyond this time-frame and therefore not eligible for the settlement scheme will depend on the Immigration Rules in force at the time. For information on changes under consideration, see the UK government information on proposed legislation.

 You will just need your EEA national / Swiss passport or ID card to enter the UK. Before coming to study, you should apply in your home country for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to obtain any medical treatment necessary during your time in the UK and to facilitate possible residence applications in the future.

Your right to reside and work in the UK

Most EEA nationals can work without restriction in the UK, but if you are a national of Croatia your right to work may be limited and you may need to obtain authorisation. For permission to work for up to 20 hours a week as a student, a Croatian national needs to obtain a yellow registration certificate.

As non-compulsory evidence of the right to reside in the UK as a student, European and Swiss nationals can apply for residence documents. This might be particularly important if family members are going to be with you in the UK and will need evidence of their right to stay.

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