Having applied for your visa, find out about what you need to know while waiting for a decision, about enrolling your biometrics and after you have been granted your visa.
Your status while awaiting a decision
As long as you applied before it expired, the conditions of your last visa (for example, student permission to work) will continue to apply while your application is being processed. You can legally stay in the UK while you wait for the Home Office decision, even if this comes after the expiry date of your previous visa.
If you are called for an interview
The Home Office can call some students in for a credibility interview although this happens only very rarely for in-UK Oxford applicants. This is part of a programme to check that students are genuine and meet their English language requirements and does not necessarily mean that there is any problem with the application. The Home Office will send you instructions about the interview. You should reply promptly and attend the interview or tell the Home Office if there is a strong reason why you are unable to. Please contact the Student Immigration team if you have concerns.
How long will it take?
This will depend on the service you selected and paid for.
Standard service: decision usually made within 8 weeks
Priority service: decision within 5 working days
Super priority service: decision by end of the next working day if you have a weekday appointment, or two working days after a weekend appointment
However the 'Priority' and 'Super Priority' are currently suspended because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The only available application service that is currently available is 'Standard'.
The Home Office will contact you if the application is going to take longer than the times stated because it is unexpectedly complex.
You also need to allow for up to 7 to 10 days for you to receive your BRP by courier following the decision. This will be delivered to you at the correspondence address that you entered on your visa application form. If you change address whilst awaiting your decision then please complete this form.
If you need to travel
You will need to take your passport with you to your biometric appointment but it will be handed back to you after checking and scanning, not retained. Do not travel before you receive a decision on your application because leaving the Common Travel Area (the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) will mean your application is treated as withdrawn and you will lose the application fee. You might not be able to return to the UK without making another visa application.
If you need to travel because of an emergency, you could contact us for advice.
You will receive the decision by email or by letter. Very few Oxford students are refused if they have followed the requirements for applying. If you are refused, please contact the Student Immigration team straight away for advice, include your refusal notice and your student number.
Receiving your Biometric Residence Permit
Your visa will be issued in the form of a plastic card called a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) instead of a sticker in your passport (vignette). This will be couriered to the correspondence address that you entered on your visa application form. If you change address whilst awaiting your decision then please complete this form.
When you receive it, take your BRP along with your passport to your college or department to have it scanned, currently they are accepting emailed copies owing to coronavirus (COVID-19). If your application was for the Doctorate Extension Scheme, email the Student Visa Compliance Team with a scan or photo of your BRP. If you are a Recognised Student please scan your BRP and send it to Student Information along with a scan of your passport.
Check the BRP very carefully for any mistakes. Mistakes in your personal details such as the spelling or ordering of your name, or in your date of birth can be corrected by following the instructions in the accompanying leaflet within the time frame given. However, if there is a problem with the conditions, including the period of validity or the conditions such as working or registering with the police these may have to be addressed using the Administrative Review procedure; please email the Student Immigration team for help.
Reporting to the police
If you are subject to a police registration requirement this will be stated on your BRP and you will need to report your new visa time limit to them.
Student visa responsibilities
Your visa status involves ongoing responsibilities for both you and the University. For further information on these see these sections: