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.
Within about 10 days of applying, you will receive a letter giving instructions for enrolling your biometric data. The Home Office will send this letter to the address you gave as your correspondence address. If you used the University's 'check and send' service, the letter will go to the Exam Schools and a member of the Student Immigration team will notify you.
Once received, take the letter to the Post Office on St Aldates or follow instructions in the letter to find another convenient Post Office. This Post Office video shows you what to expect. You will need to pay a fee of £19.20. You should enrol your biometrics as quickly as possible to avoid delay to your application and you must do so within 15 working days of the date of the letter. If you have used the Postal Priority Service you must enrol biometrics within two days of receiving the letter.
If you apply in person using the premium service, you will give biometrics at the appointment.
If you are called for an interview
The Home Office call some students in for interview. This is part of a programme to check that students are genuine and meet their English language requirements. If you are called it does not necessarily mean there is any problem with your application. The Home Office will send you instructions about the interview. If you applied through the University’s ‘check and send’ service, your adviser may forward the instructions to you. You must respond promptly to the instructions and attend the interview unless there is a strong reason why you are unable to. There is further information about these interviews on the UKCISA website. Please contact the Student Immigration team if you have concerns about the interview.
How long will it take?
If you apply using the standard postal service the decision and return of your documents will take up to eight weeks (or longer if your application is complicated).
The priority postal service results in a decision and return of documents and BRP within 10 days if you keep to the timings for the different steps as directed.
If you submit documents in person using the premium service, your application will usually be decided during your appointment, with your biometric residence permit arriving by courier at your address within a week.
If you need to travel or get your passport back
If a very serious need to travel arises while your application is under consideration, email the Student Immigration team for advice.
It is possible to have your passport returned temporarily without withdrawing your application if you need it for identity purposes only. You cannot have your passport returned for travel before the application is decided except by withdrawing the application.
The Home Office form for requesting withdrawal of your application or temporary return of your passport for identity purposes is available on the Home Office website.
You will receive the decision 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.
Receiving your passport, documents and Biometric Residence Permit
The Home Office will send your passport and documents through the post to the address you gave as your correspondence address. 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. This will be couriered separately to your correspondence address. If the University submitted your application for you, your documents and BRP will come to the Examination Schools and the Student Immigration team will notify you to collect them.
Your Biometric Residence Permit
When you receive your BRP, take it to your college or department to have it scanned. If your application was for the Doctorate Extension Scheme, email the Student Immigration team with a scan or photo of your BRP. If you are a Recognised Student bring your BRP to the Information Desk at the Examination Schools to be scanned.
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. But 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.
Tier 4 responsibilities
Your visa status involves ongoing responsibilities for both you and the University. For further information on these see these sections: