Arriving in the UK

Before travelling to the UK

Visa nationals

Visitors who are visa nationals (i.e from a country included on the visa national list at this link) must apply for and wait to be granted their visa before travelling to the UK.

Once the visa has been granted, the visitor must ensure they make arrangements to travel to the UK while the vignette (paper visa in their passport used to enter the UK) is valid. 

If a situation arises which affects the visitor's ability to travel when planned, please get in contact with your host department or college at University of Oxford. They will get in touch with the Staff Immigration team and receive further instruction on how to proceed.

The Home Office strongly advise against booking travel to the UK before a visa is issued. Please note it is not possible to travel to, or enter, the UK using an entry clearance vignette that has expired.

Non-visa nationals

Individuals who are not on the Home Office visa national list can travel to the UK without obtaining a visitor visa before hand. 

They will need to prepare all documents as listed on the Visa application and Supporting document pages as they may have to present these to an Immigration Officer at the UK border if they are questioned about the purpose of their visit when they arrive. 


Arriving at the UK border

Receiving stamp in passport by border control officer

Individuals must normally attend a staffed immigration desk and either present entry vignette in their passport (visa nationals) or their supporting documents (non-visa nationals). 

Visitors falling under one of the listed points below will also need to see an Immigration officer: 

  • Short Term Students coming for up to 6 months
  • Visitors travelling with children under the age of 10
  • Visitors who do not hold a passport with a biometric chip


Using the eGates 

Visitors (including Business and Academic visitors) coming for less than 6 months from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America can use the automated eGates on arrival into the UK, free of charge. The eGates are available at 15 major airports and Eurostar terminals across the UK. eGates cannot be used if you are travelling with children under 10 years old.


The visitors will no longer complete a landing card, or receive an entry stamp in their passport from an Immigration Officer.


Departments, faculty and colleges should continue to issue the appropriate invitation letter ahead of the individuals visit and undertake an immigration status check upon their arrival to Oxford. For these nationals this will result in holding a copy of their passport details page only, as there will be no stamp, and a copy of the invitation letter on file for the duration of their visit.





Application Process

Visa Nationals

All Academics visiting for 6+ months

Over 100 counties including China, India, Pakistan, Turkey.

See the full visa nationals list

Must apply in advance to enter the UK.

Non Visa Nationals

Nationals not listed in the visa nationals at the link above

An Immigration Office should permit them to enter the UK under the Visitor visa route relevant to their activities, they may or may not receive an entry stamp in their passport

Non Visa Nationals using eGate

Nationals from the following countries: 
EU/EEA countries and Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and USA

Not seen by an Immigration Officer and will not receive an entry stamp in their passport




Contact us

Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education

Angelina Pelova, Email: 

Paul Deeble, Email:


MPLS / Social Sciences / Colleges

Lyn Davis, Email:

Richard Birt, Email:




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