Skilled Worker Arriving in the UK

When an out-of-country Skilled Worker visa application is granted a vignette (visa sticker) will be placed in the applicant's passport.

Those applying for a Skilled Worker visa for six months or more may receive a 90 day vignette which is used to enter the UK and are instructed when and where to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after they arrive in the UK. The BRP is a plastic credit-card sized visa valid for the full length of their visa. While the vignette used to enter the UK is valid for 90 days if a visa holder's arrival and start in their role is delayed by more than 28 days their sponsorship must be cancelled, unless the delay was for a serious and unavoidable reason, and they would have to leave and apply again for a new visa from outside the UK.

Those applying for a Skilled Worker visa for less than six months may receive a vignette valid for the full length of their visa and are not given a BRP.

EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland nationals, who have a biometric passport and used the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' app will not receive a vignette or BRP and instead have a digital immigration status.

Moving to Oxford

Practical information on travel and moving to the UK, including accommodation, moving your possessions, school applications, bringing pets, and opening a UK bank account is provided by the Oxford University Welcome Service.


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The Home Office strongly recommends against booking travel to the UK before a visa is issued.

Skilled Worker visa holders must travel to the UK as soon as possible after the start date of their Skilled Worker vignette. Those issued a vignette valid for 90 days must travel to the UK within this period, as if they do not, they will have to apply, and pay, for a replacement vignette before entering the UK.


Travelling to the UK as a Visitor

Once an applicant has submitted their Skilled Worker visa application, or after their Skilled Worker visa has been granted, they must not enter the UK as a Visitor (e.g. as a tourist). If they do, their Skilled Worker visa will no longer be valid, and they will not be able to start their employment. Any travel plans should be discussed with the employing department/ faculty/ college and the Staff Immigration Team (SIT).


A Skilled Worker start date cannot be delayed more than 28 days (4 weeks)

If a Skilled Worker visa holder arrives more than 28 days late, unless there is some serious and unavoidable reason for the delay, their sponsorship would have to be withdrawn which would result in their Skilled Worker visa being cancelled. The 28 days are counted from either the Skilled Worker CoS start date or the date the Skilled Worker visa is issued, whichever is later.

If there are any concerns about meeting a Skilled Worker start date, please contact the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) as early as possible.



Skilled Worker visa holders and their family members will normally have their vignettes checked and date stamped by a Home Office Immigration Officer on arriving in the UK.

Nationals of An EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA who have a biometric passport will instead be able to enter through 'eGates' without having to speak to an Immigration Officer. If travelling with children under 10 years old, however, they cannot use the 'eGates' and will need to see an Immigration Officer.

Those who enter through an 'eGate' will not receive a date stamp in their passport and will need to retain their boarding pass, travel itinerary, or other evidence of when they entered the UK.

Even those who have travelled to the UK before may find the government's Guide to faster travel through the UK border useful.

Collecting BRPs

Those who have applied for a Skilled Worker visa for six months or more and have a vignette in their passport allowing them to arrive to the UK, must collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days after arriving, or before their vignette expires, whichever is sooner. The Home Office letter which confirmed their application had been granted will list when and from with Post Office they will need to collect their BRP.

Occasionally a BRP is not ready for collection on the stated date and the visa holder will need to return a day or two later to collect the BRP. If a BRP is still not available for collection the visa holder can report this to the Home Office to receive further instruction but should also inform their employing department/ faculty/ college and the Staff Immigration Team (SIT).

BRPs should be carefully checked when they are picked up as any errors in details or dates will need to be corrected. If there are errors on a BRP the visa holder should inform their employing department/ faculty/ college and SIT.

More detail on these issues is found in Home Office guidance on Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs).

Evidence Right to Work before any work starts

Skilled Worker visa holders will need to obtain a share code so that departments and colleges can complete an online check.

Vignette and BRP

If BRP collection is delayed, and a share code is unable to be obtained, the visa holder may be able to start work with a right to work check on their vignette but must provide a share code before their vignette expires to complete the check and fully establish their right to work in the UK.

The Home Office requires evidence of the date a Skilled Worker visa holder enters the UK to be kept as part of their record-keeping requirements. Usually, the vignette will be date stamped upon arrival. In the absence of an entry stamp – for example, if the Skilled Worker visa holder entered through Ireland or another part of the Common Travel Area, or through an 'eGate' – other evidence, such as the boarding card or travel itinerary will need to be presented to the employing department/ faculty/ college when the right to work check is being completed.

Digital Immigration Status

Visa holders who only have a digital immigration status, and do not receive a vignette and BRP, will need to provide a 'share code' to enable access to their visa information online. Detailed guidance is provided in our Online Right to Work check process

Attending visa holder briefing session 

The Staff Immigration team will send an invitation to attend a Visa holder briefing session via email to new employees who are Skilled Worker or Tier 5 visa holders. 

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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