Visitor Invitation Process

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Where a college or department wishes to invite a non-EEA national as a visitor, administrators within the University's department and colleges should be included in the discussion from the start. This is to ensure a smooth process for all parties involved and considerably reduces the changes of a visa refusal.

Please ensure that the Staff Immigration (SIT)'s invitation letter templates are used to avoid  that the correct letter of invitation is issued and the activities the visitor will be doing is compliant with the visa route they are entering under.


SIT recommends that departments and colleges asks prospective visitors to fill in a 'Visitor form'. These may include the following points:

  • Personal information about the visitor
  • Information about the visitors current status (for example: PhD student/journalist/researcher/government official/eminent doctor etc).
  • The main purpose of their visit to University of Oxford
  • An outline of the activities they will be undertaking during their visit
  • Confirmation whether they will be doing any collaborative research with their host department or college
  • The duration of their visit
  • Confirmation whether the visitor is bringing any family members
  • Information how they intend to support themselves financially while in the UK


Departments and colleges must ensure they have a robust process in place to avoid that individual within the department or college invite non-EEA nationals without having run this by the HR office first.


Please note that where a University department or college is inviting a non-EEA citizen, they are facilitating their entry to the UK

The host department or college must be satisfied that the visitor is compliant with the Home Office's visitor visa regulations.



When the college or department administrator receives the completed visitor form, they can assess which visitor visa route would be most suitable by referring to our Standard visitor visa type pages.



Where an administrator is unsure which visa route is best suited for their prospective visitor, please contact your contact person in the Staff Immigration Team and provide us with an overview of the visit and the details of the visitor.

Once it has been established which visitor visa category is the best suited to accommodate the visitor, the host department or college must issue a letter of invitation to the visitor. Staff Immigration provides templates for each category which can be found below:









The letter of invitation should be letter headed paper, be signed and dated and then sent to the prospective visitor via email. They will require this letter of invitation for their visa application (if they're a visa national) or they will need to bring a copy of it to present to UK border control (if they are a non-visa national). The letter of invitation should include contact details that UK border force can use to verify details about the visit.

All visitors must report to the HR office at their host department or college before their visit commences so the following steps can take place:


  • Record keeping for all visitors (except Business visitors coming for one day or less):
    Take a copy of the visitor's passport and entry stamp/vignette. Sign and date the passport details and visa/immigration stamp and retain these for the duration of visit along with a copy of the letter of invitation and any information confirming intended activity.


  • Gaining access to department or college: The department or college goes through necessary procedures to allow the visitor to gain access to their facilities
  • Reminded to collect BRP: Academic visitors and other individuals visiting for over 6 months are reminded to collect their BRP from the post office. Once the BRP has been collected, the host department or college must take a copy of the it to be included on their records.
  • Police registration: Some visitors will need to register with the police within 7 days of arriving in the UK. To see the list of nationalities that usually need to register with the police, please see the 'Who usually needs to register' pages on the Home Office website. More information can be found on the Police Registration page.  
  • Visa conditions: All visitors should aware of the conditions of their visa which can be found on the second page of their letter of invitation. These can also be found on the Visitor visa conditions page.


Contact us

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

Angelina Pelova Tel: 01865 289904 Email: 

James Galloway Tel: 01865 289927 Email:


MPLS / Social Sciences

Nina Song Tel: 01865 289926 Email:

Solveig Alsaker Tel: 01865 289912 Email:




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