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 Border Agency 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) Visa

Globe and passport
Under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) category for the UKBA points-based system, the University of Oxford may endorse graduates 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 University has been granted twenty endorsements for the 2014-15 cycle ending on 5th April 2015. Twenty endorsements are for graduates in any subject and for post-doctoral researchers currently employed and sponsored by the University. These endorsements will be allocated throughout the year on a competitive basis. We plan to run calls for applications once per term and once during the Long Vacation. However, there will be no limit on the number of endorsements given in any one application cycle. This means that if all the endorsements are allocated during any one of the application cycles, there will be no further calls for applications until the University receives additional allocations in April of the following year. Applicants who the University endorses would be able to apply for a visa for one year to develop their business idea. If the University then confirms adequate progress they can apply for one further year. Additional employment is allowed for up to 20 hours a week to supplement income whilst the business is in development, but the majority of time should be used working on the business. The applicant’s dependent partner and children can stay in the UK with them.


  • Non-EEA national graduates
  • Graduates who have a genuine, credible and innovative business idea
  • Graduates must not currently be on Post Study Work visa
  • English language requirement (automatically qualify by completing a degree taught in English at Oxford or other UK university)
  • Graduates in any subject who received their degree from the University or who received a degree from another UK university.
  • Postdoctoral researchers currently working for the University on a Tier 2 (General) Migrant visa who have graduated from a UK Higher Education Institution.

Links to UKBA docs

How to apply


  • All applications must be made through Career Connect. If you already have an account, please sign on for more information and to apply. If you have not yet registered for a Career Connect account, please log-in using your single sign on (if you are a student) and complete your profile. If you are alumni or research staff, please contact the Reception team at or 01865 274646 to set up your account.
  • The closing date for the current round of applications is 14th September, 2014. For further information and to apply please log on to Career Connect and search for vacancy 63140

Required documents

  1. CV
  2.  Cover letter demonstrating:
    1. Eligibility
    2. Personal commitment to the entrepreneurial idea
    3. Support needed and available from the university and elsewhere
    4. Previous relevant experience in the service/product, as an entrepreneur, and in business.
  3. A description of your business and progress to date. Applications will be judged on the following selection criteria:
    1. Is this a genuine, credible and innovative business idea?
    2. Can you demonstrate your ownership, or co-ownership, of the idea?
    3. Is there evidence of progress to date that demonstrates a real commitment to getting the business started, including for example:
      1. Feedback from current or potential users/customers?
      2. Financing – actual and/or promised?
      3. Contracts?
      4. Formalising of the business—eg, incorporation/registration, website, domain names, offices?
      5. A short business plan that includes an assessment of market, competition, customers, service/product, and financial requirement.
      6. The business plan should include realistic and useful measures for assessing performance after 1 year.
  4. Additional information. A one page document that addresses the following three points:
    1. Current status of the venture – idea, pilot, early operations (check one and provide one sentence details)
    2. What is your stake to build the business in UK (not more than 100 words to mark the argument explicitly)
    3. What do you imagine the venture doing/being in 2 years. Please outline 5 key milestones along the way.

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