Monthly Archives: August 2016

Visa after the studies in UK

If you wish to stay in the UK to work when you have finished your studies you will need to apply for visa permission to do so. Here you will find out the requirements you will need to meet as well as the application support available from the University.

Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme – for DPhil students approaching completion

The Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme is open for applications from students who are close to finishing their DPhil. The scheme is part of Tier 4 meaning applicants need sponsorship in the form of a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from their department to apply for a visa extension.

The visa will be granted for 12 months from the expected completion date on the CAS and allows holders to seek and take work in the UK without needing advance sponsorship from an employer, or set up in business.

You can use the year simply for work experience or, if you found qualifying work with a licensed employer, you may be able to progress to Tier 2. If you are setting up a business you may be able to go on to apply under the entrepreneur or graduate entrepreneur categories. During the year you will need to keep in contact with the University as your sponsor for the scheme.

As it is not possible to apply once you have completed your DPhil, you should speak to the Graduate Studies Assistant for your department and request a CAS shortly before your viva to allow yourself time to make the visa application before you are granted ‘leave to supplicate’. Some funded students may need their financial sponsor’s permission to apply. Information is available from the Home Office.

Tier 1 visa categories – entrepreneurs and investors

Graduate Entrepreneur: for students to remain in the UK for one year to develop an entrepreneurial business idea. Applicants must be invited to make an application by the education institution from which they have received their award and have the application endorsed by that institution.

Oxford usually offers a maximum of 20 invitations per year. More information about obtaining an endorsement from Oxford and the next round of interviews is available from the Careers Service. The visa application form and Policy Guidance for this scheme are available from the Home Office.

Entrepreneurs: applicants proposing to set up, or take over, and actively run a business in the UK, who either have access to funding of £200,000, or access to funding of £50,000 from particular specified sources can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. If you are switching from Graduate Entrepreneur you need £50,000 funding but it does not need to be from the specified sources.

Exceptional talent: 1,000 visas will be granted in this category to ‘exceptionally talented migrants in the fields of science, arts and humanities’, as endorsed by a ‘designated Competent Body’. For details, see the Home Office information on Tier 1 (Exceptional talent).

Investors: these visas are available to applicants with £2million to invest in the UK.

Tier 2 (General) – you have a job offer

Applicants who have been offered a graduate level job by an employer who holds a Tier 2 license and have been issued a Certificate of Sponsorship are eligible for the Tier 2 (General) visa category.

For a Tier 2 application, the salary offered must be appropriate to the type of work and be at least £20,800. Although an employer would normally need to advertise the job as required by the Home Office (the Resident Labour Market Test) they are exempt from this requirement if you are applying in the UK under the special arrangements for student visa holders.

In order to apply for Tier 2 from within the UK, if your last visa granted was as a student or a Tier 4 student, you will have to show that you have completed, during the period of that visa, or a previous visa which you have now extended, a degree or at least one year of your DPhil. If you have finished your course at the University you can include a Degree Certificate, Final Academic Transcript or a Degree Confirmation Letter to prove that that you meet this requirement. You will also need to meet maintenance and English language requirements as set out in the Home Office’s Tier 2 guidance.

The number of Tier 2 (General) applications made outside the UK is limited by a quota system which may slow down your application or make it more difficult for you to apply. For this reason it is usually better to apply under Tier 2 from within the UK if you are eligible to do so.

Holders of Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visas, and Tier 1 Post Study Work visas can also benefit from the Tier 2 switching arrangements for students.

Information on other routes for working in the UK

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme): is available to nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Taiwan or South Korea. The Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) is for young people from participating countries who would like to experience life and work in the UK. There are specific requirements to be met, visas are issued under a quota system and you have to apply from your home country. You can also apply if you are a British Overseas citizen, a British Overseas Territories citizen or a British National Overseas citizen (there is no limit on these visas).

UK ancestry: If you are a Commonwealth citizen with a grandparent born in the UK, you may be able to apply from outside the UK for a visa to come to the UK for five years to look for a job and work, on the basis of UK ancestry.

Turkish citizens: If you are a Turkish citizen you may benefit from a European agreement with Turkey if you want to set up in business in the UK, or to obtain the right to stay longer to work if you have already been legally working in the UK.

Tier 5 Temporary Worker: If you are already in the UK, it is now possible to remain here to undertake an internship directly related to the studies you have taken during your time in the UK, for up to 12 months under the Tier 5 Temporary Worker (Government Authorised Exchange) scheme.

Get UK Visa For Study

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

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.

How to renewing your visa

You can renew or extend your visa in the UK if your most recently granted visa is either a Tier 4 visa, or other type of visa from which switching to Tier 4 is allowed. You should normally apply before your visa expires. You are not allowed to apply in the UK if you are here as a Short-Term Student or Visitor.

Check that you can make your application from within the UK

If you are applying for a visa for a new course and want to apply in the UK, the start date of the new course must be not later than 28 days after the expiry date of your latest visa. If there is a gap of more than 28 days following the expiry date of your current visa before your course starts, you must apply in your country of nationality or usual residence.

Home Office ‘Academic progression’ requirement

Warning: this requirement may mean that you cannot apply in the UK, even if you meet other requirements, and will have to apply from your home country.

If you have already been studying in the UK with a Tier 4 visa, normally you will only be able to apply in the UK again under Tier 4 if you have successfully completed your course and will be studying at a higher academic level, for example you have successfully completed an undergraduate degree and will be starting a masters or you have successfully completed a masters and will be starting a DPhil. Note that the requirement to have successfully completed the course for which your Tier 4 visa was assigned may mean that you cannot apply in the UK if you have switched course without completing your original course and are applying for more time to complete the course you switched to.

To satisfy the academic progression requirement for an in-country application you will have to provide proof of having completed your previous course by sending your degree certificate, a final academic transcript or formal written confirmation. If you are going on to a new course at the same academic level as your previous course it should either complement your current studies, involve deeper specialisation or support your career aspirations to meet the Home Office ‘academic progression’ requirement, see theTier 4 policy guidance (academic progression section). Students who need to make a Tier 4 application to complete a DPhil, resit an exam or repeat a section of a course do not have to show academic progression.

This is a summary of the requirement, you should also look at the Tier 4 policy guidance (PDF) (academic progression section).

If you are unsure whether your further study meets the academic progression please contact or for advice. The Home Office may be reviewing the requirement so contact us to check the latest information.

You do not need to meet this Home Office ‘academic progression requirement’ if you make your Tier 4 application outside the UK.

Time limit on study in the UK

Your Tier 4 application must not lead to you spending more than five years on Tier 4 Student visas and/or the older type of student visa for degree level study.

There are exceptions to the five year limit:

  • if you have completed a four or five year undergraduate degree course in the UK and will be studying a taught Masters at Oxford, the time limit is six years;
  • if the time limit would prevent you completing a degree level course it may be extended to five years and 11 months (or six years and 11 months if you studied a four or five year undergraduate course and your application is for a taught Masters);
  • if you will be studying a DPhil or MSc by research there is no limit while you are studying this course;
  • but if you have already completed a doctorate in the UK, any new application for study is subject to an eight year overall limit including study below degree level;
  • applications for some courses are exempt from the limit including architecture, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and science, conversion or professional law courses following a degree in the UK, or music at a Conservatoire. However time spent on these courses cannot be deducted from any future time limit calculation for study on a non-exempt course.

Visit the UKCISA website for information and how to calculate the time limit. If you think that the time limit may be a problem for your application, email Student Immigration for advice or for a calculation of the time limit.

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for access to NHS treatment

The IHS was introduced as part of Tier 4 and other visa applications, including student dependants in April 2015. The charge must be paid even if you have your own private medical insurance and do not intend to use the NHS.

You will be required to complete an assessment for the IHS as part of your visa application, and pay online. You will be charged £150 for each year or part year over six months of the visa being applied for, plus £75 for part of a year that is less than six months. If a student (or a dependant) is making a visa application in the UK, they will be required to pay the health charge even if the period applied for is less than six months. Nationals of Australia and New Zealand applying before 6 April 2016 will not be charged but will need to go through the assessment process to obtain a reference number.

Students who have obtained a visa before the IHS was implemented will be covered as normal for NHS treatment unless and until they need to make a further visa application.

For further information on the IHS, see the Home Office website.

Traveling Visa In Uk Tips

If you want to travel to Europe during your stay in the UK, you may be required to apply for a Schengen visa before you travel.

The Schengen visa allows visitors to obtain one visa to visit a number of designated countries within the EEA. To find out if you require a Schengen visa, visit the UK embassy website of the country you wish to visit.

There are 25 member countries in the Schengen visa scheme:

Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany Greece Hungary
Iceland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland

The UK is not a Schengen territory and the visa cannot be used to enter this country.

Types of Schengen visa

  1. The Airport transit visa allows you to transit through the international transit area of an airport in a Schengen member state, but not to exit this area before flying to your next destination.
  2. The transit visa enables you to pass through the territory of one or more Schengen member states on your way to another country outside of the Schengen space.
  3. The short stay or travel visa allows a visit of up to three months in any six month period. This is the visa that most students wanting to travel within the Schengen space as tourists or conference attendees will require.

You can also submit an application for multiple entry visas. This allows you to travel more than once into the Schengen space during a three month period.

Schengen visa charges

There is a charge for obtaining a Schengen visa which will vary depending on which country is issuing it. You should apply either to the embassy of the country you plan to spend most time in or the country you will go to first.

Each embassy produces its own application form for the visa and you will need to contact the appropriate authority by telephoning their enquiry number to ask them to send a form out to you. Some embassies’ forms are available from their website. Be careful to find the official embassy website rather than an agency website.

Other Schengen visa requirements

  • Each embassy has its own policy on how much leave (ie permission) to enter or remain in the UK applicants need to have beyond the term of their proposed trip. For example, you may be required to have a passport which is valid for at least three months longer than the proposed visa.
  • You may need to spend time waiting for the national authorities to process your passport renewal, it is therefore advisable to apply early.
  • Depending on your nationality, embassies may also require you to make your application in person.


Re-entering the UK after your trip

If you have a still-current Tier 4 student visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and your circumstances haven’t changed since it was issued, you should be able to use it to re-enter the UK.

Starting in summer of 2015, students coming for a period of more than six months have been granted Tier 4 permission in the form of a short 30-day travel visa with instructions to collect a BRP after arrival in the UK. If you have a current BRP, show this with your passport on return to the UK. You do not have to apply for a new short 30-day travel visa to re-enter the UK.

Whether your visa is a BRP or the older kind of long visa sticker in your passport, on arrival, have with you in your hand luggage your CAS number on paper and a certificate of enrolment which you can print from Student Self-Service. Although your visa should be enough for re-entry to the UK, these could help if there is any concern about your status.

Border control will not usually let you show them documents on a phone, tablet or laptop. Be cautious about making trips outside the UK after you have completed study or when your visa is close to expiry. Border Control staff have the power to refuse entry if they consider there has been a significant change of circumstance since your visa was granted.  Be prepared to explain for example that although you have finished your course, your purpose for returning is not incompatible with the reason your visa was granted, and that you do not plan to remain beyond your visa’s expiry date unless you are eligible and have applied for another visa. If you plan to apply for another visa, make sure you are eligible and ready to do so from within the UK and you are able to explain this. If you still have matters to attend to related to your course, for example a graduation ceremony before your visa expiry date, or you need to pack up belongings before leaving the UK, you could mention this and if you have already made travel arrangements this can help as evidence of your intention to leave.

If you have completed early, or withdrawn or suspended from your course, this is likely to have been reported to the Home Office and this may mean you cannot re-enter the UK even though your Tier 4 permission still appears to be valid. The University would have emailed you using contact details on your student record before any report was made to the Home Office to let you know this was happening and to explain the consequences.

If you are using Short-Term Student status to study, there is a difference between having a visa in this capacity and having the status conferred by a stamp on arrival. If you have a Short-Term Student visa in your passport, this should be multi entry so you can use it to re-enter the UK during its period of validity. If you did not need to apply for a visa but were stamped in as a short-term student, this status will lapse when you leave the UK and when you return you will need to qualify again as a short term student, so have with you a recent short-term student letter from your college or course organiser, and evidence of your finances.