Arriving after Brexit

The status of, and rules for, Europeans and their family members already resident in the UK before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) will not change. Those coming to the UK for the first time from January 2021 onwards, however, will need to apply or enter under the appropriate UK visa route.

Some information on the different UK visa routes is provided below, with full details on the relevant pages of our website.

Key points:

  • European nationals coming to the UK for the first time from 1 January 2021 onwards will need advice and information from the department, faculty or college offering employment, or hosting their visit, on the correct UK visa route for their planned work or other activities. If coming for a visit of up to six months they may not have to apply for a visa in advance of travelling to the UK but they will still be entering the UK under one of the Visitor visa routes and will need information about this and an invitation letter setting out the conditions of that visa route. The Staff Immigration Team assists departments, faculty, colleges, and the individual to discuss and determine the correct visa route and with any queries on the visa process.
  • Europeans and their family members who were resident in the UK before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) should have applied for Pre-Settled or Settled status before the 30 June 2021 deadline. If someone has reasonable grounds for missing this deadline, however, they may be able to submit a late application, see the In the UK before Brexit page for more information.
  • Family members of Europeans who have Pre-Settled or Settled status can come to join them in the UK but will need an EUSS Family Permit before travelling to the UK, and when applying will have to show that their relationship existed before 1 January 2021. See the In the UK before Brexit page for more information.
  • Irish nationals are not affected by the changes since the Brexit referendum as they automatically have settled rights in the UK under ‘Common Travel Area’ (CTA) arrangements which date from before Ireland and the UK joined the EU. Irish nationals do not need to apply for Settled status, but they can apply if they wish. The UK and Irish governments in May 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming their joint commitment to the CTA. More information is provided in UK government guidance on rights under the CTA.

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While the correct UK visa route will always need to be discussed with the department, faculty or college offering employment, or hosting the visit, the main visa routes for different activities within the collegiate University, are:

Activity UK visa route
Taking up an employed role Skilled Worker is the main visa route for employed roles in the UK. Not all roles are sponsorable and certain salary and other requirements must be met but the department, faculty, college offering the role will confirm whether this route is appropriate if you are selected for the role.
Taking up an employed role as a leader or potential leader in academia or research Global Talent is for individuals who have accepted a job in which they will have responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership, those who have been awarded certain research fellowships, or whose research or specialist role was specified in a successful grant award from an 'endorsed funder'.
Coming for a visit to participate in collaborative research, working on their own research project Tier 5 Sponsored Researcher is for those coming to undertake a 'supernumerary' research project, which does not form part of any ongoing research or project within the host department, faculty, college and which would not be carried out if they did not come to the UK. They must be in receipt of funding for the visit and cannot be self-funded.
Coming to speak at or attend a conference, meeting, or seminar, attend a job interview, or observe (but not undertake) research Standard Visitor - Business is for those coming to undertake these and some other similar activities. They cannot undertake research or any other paid or unpaid work during the visit.
Coming to undertake their own private research and share knowledge and techniques, speak at or attend a conference, meetig or seminar. Standard Visitor - Academic is for those employed by an academic institution outside the UK who are coming for a visit, or a longer visit while on sabbatical, to undertake their own private (not collaborative) research. They cannot undertake any paid or unpaid work during the visit.
Invited, and paid, to give one or a series of lectures, or act as an external examiner Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) Visitor is for those being invited and paid for these activites but is only issued for up to one month. They must not be replacing the formal role of the course teacher, hence, they can deliver lectures as a 'guest slot' within a course of study but cannot be responsible for the design, delivery, marking, or review of a course etc.
Taking up a degree or other course of study at the University a Student visa would be required with advice provided by the Student Immigration team
Coming for less than six months to undertake research which forms part of their degree studied outside the UK a Visitor visa may be appropriate for those coming for less than six months to undertake research or be taught about research if this is a required part of, or is relevant to, their studies outside the UK and this is not paid work or work experience. Advice is provided by the Student Immigration team

 

Family members will be able to apply for Dependant visas under most of these visa routes and it is possible sometimes possible to switch from one visa route to another (as long as the relevant visa requirements can be met) without having to leave the UK. Switching from the Visitor, visiting student, or other temporary visa routes, howeever, is not permitted.

Europeans will, in most cases, need to apply for and be granted a visa before coming to the UK and will have to pay visa fees and the NHS Surcharge. Current visa fees are detailed in the 'Costs' pages of the guidance on the current visa routes found at the links above. We also provide information about the Immigration Health (or NHS) Surcharge which is a charge per year for the length of the visa, which must be paid in full when applying for the visa, and then ensures access to treatment through the National Health Service (NHS). Those coming under the Visitor visa routes are not required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge and as a result will need medical or travel insurance to cover any treatment in the UK.

Those with queries can contact the department, faculty, or college offering employment or hosting a visit in the first instance, or the Staff Immigration Team.

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The Home Office separates visitors into 'visa nationals' and 'non-visa nationals' depending on their nationality. Europeans who were not resident in the UK before 1 January 2021 are 'non-visa nationals' but being in this category does not mean that they do not need a visa.

'Visa nationals' are always required to apply for (and obtain) a visa before travelling to the UK.

'Non-visa nationals' who are coming to the UK for less than six months to carry out Visitor visa activities do not need to apply for a visa before coming to the UK but are instead granted a visa on entering the UK, either automatically as they scan their passport and pass through an eGate, or by an Immigration Officer when they explain the purpose of their visit. They will not receive a visa document and may not even have their passport stamped but they have been permitted to enter under one of the Visitor visa routes and are then bound by the conditions of that route.

'Non-visa nationals' who are coming to the UK for longer than six (up to twelve) months under the Standard Visitor - Academic visa route, or whose activities do not fall under the Visitor visa routes, must apply for (and be granted) a visa before travelling to the UK.

Guidance on the Home Office website oversimplifies these issues and simply tells non-visa nationals (including Europeans) coming for less than six months as a Visitor that they 'do not need a visa'. As discussed, even if they do not have to apply in advance they are still entering under one of the Visitor visa routes and should be issued an invitation letter which makes clear the route they are entering under and the conditions and restrictions of that visa route.

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Who to contact


James Baker
Head of Staff Immigration 

tel: 01865 289908
e-mail: james.baker@admin.ox.ac.uk 

 

Tim Currie
Staff Immigration Officer

tel: 01865 289903
e-mail: tim.currie@admin.ox.ac.uk  

Contact us


Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education / Colleges

Angelina Pelova Tel: 01865 289904 Email: angelina.pelova@admin.ox.ac.uk 

 

MPLS / Social Sciences

Lyn Davis Email: lyn.davis@admin.ox.ac.uk

Richard Birt Email: richard.birt@admin.ox.ac.uk

 

 

 

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