UK Visa information

General information

Depending on your status, it is possible to work in the UK whilst you are studying, and there are routes to work in the UK upon completion of your Oxford degree.

The Points Based System for immigration consists of different tiers (categories) of visas which allow people from outside the EEA/EU to work or study in the UK. Useful resources include:

  • The University’s Student Information and Advisory Service is the place to go for the most up to date information on visas.
  • The UK Visas and Immigration website will give you the latest working visa information and details of a number of other visa schemes.
  • UKCISA, the UK Council for International Student Affairs, offers independent
    information and advice about immigration, finance and working in the UK.

We hold regular talks at the Careers Service for International Students wanting to find out more about their visa options. International students considering staying in UK after their studies may find the following resources useful:

Please note, Careers Advisers are unable to give individual visa advice to students.

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Endorsement

The University of Oxford may endorse up to thirty graduates annually who have ‘genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills, to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK.’ The endorsement process is conducted by the Careers Service and is separate from the visa application, which in the second stage of the process and is administered by the Student Immigration team.

Successful endorsement applicants can apply for a visa for one year to develop their business idea.  Visa holders can then apply for one further year to remain in the UK by being re-endorsed. Proof of satisfactory progression within the business is one of the requirements to be considered for a second endorsement. Additional employment is allowed for up to 20 hours a week to supplement income whilst the business is in development. The applicant’s dependent partner and children can also apply to remain in the UK.

The University of Oxford Careers Service invites students, graduates and post-doctoral researchers who wish to stay in the UK to develop their business ideas and who meet the eligibility criteria to apply for University endorsement. We are keen to support entrepreneurial activity at all levels and encourage all graduating students from any discipline and with any sort of business idea to apply. Previously endorsed businesses include:

  • Social enterprises and not-for-profits
  • Technology start-ups
  • Funding generation and investment organisations
  • Digital education tools
  • Energy research

Applications for endorsement are invited four times a year (once in each term and one in the long vacation). For dates of the current call for applications, please see CareerConnect or our blog, or email us.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

  • Applicants must be non-EEA nationals who have received, or will receive, their degree from the University of Oxford. They must also:
    • Have a genuine, credible and innovative business idea
    • not currently be on a Post Study Work visa
    • Fulfil an English language requirement (automatically qualification by completing a degree taught in English at Oxford or another UK university)
  • Postdoctoral researchers currently working for the University on a Tier 2 (General) Migrant visa and who have graduated from a UK Higher Education Institution are also eligible to apply.

Links to Home office visa and immigration documents

For information on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa application process (post endorsement) and eligibility please visit the UKVI website:

How to apply

Applicants must apply through CareerConnect. If you do not yet have an account on CareerConnect, please register first. Endorsement is a competitive process and applicants will be required to show evidence that they have a genuine, credible and innovative business idea. Required documents include:

    • CV
    • Cover letter
    • A description of the business and business plan
    • A description of the status of the venture. This document should describe your rationale for building the business in the UK (as opposed to elsewhere) and an overview of what you imagine the venture doing/being in two years, including 5 key milestones along the way.

A termly call for applications (and one during the long vacation) will be announced on our blog. More detailed information about applying and required application documents will then be available on CareerConnect.

Related Events

  • Recent News

    • ‘Staying in the UK to Work - Which Visa?’

      13th May 2015

      Wednesday 15 July at 12.30-14:00: ‘Staying in the UK to Work - Which Visa?’ (Oxford University Student Information and Advisory Service) at The Careers Service. There are several schemes which allow recent graduates to remain in the UK to work, the main route available to students being Tier 2 (General). This visa category offers some… Continue reading →

    • Graduate Entrepreneur Visa: apply from Monday

      24th Apr 2015

      The next call for applications under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa scheme will open on Monday 27th April. If you are a graduating student or an alumnus and you have a business idea that would benefit from development in the UK, you may be eligible to apply. The University of Oxford may endorse up to… Continue reading →