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 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 separate from the visa application. Successful endorsement applicants then apply for a visa for one year to develop their business idea.  Visa holders can also apply for one further year to remain in the UK by being re-endorsed by the University of Oxford or a different endorsing institution. 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. are invited four times a year. For dates of the current call for applications, please see CareerConnect or our blog.


  • 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

Applicants must apply through CareerConnect. If you do not yet have an account on CareerConnect, please register first. The 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 and an overview of what you imagine the venture doing/being in two years, including 5 key milestones along the way.

More detailed information about applying is available on Career Connect.

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

Related Events

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      16th Apr 2015

      Monday 11 May 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: Monday deadline for applications!

      19th Feb 2015

      The deadline for applications for endorsement under the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa scheme closes at midnight on Monday, 23rd February. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur and have a business idea for which residence in the UK is a necessity, the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa scheme may be for you. Those with businesses at any stage… Continue reading →