There is more information and advice on the University website (www.ox.ac.uk/students/new/international).
If you are not from an EU state or from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, you must obtain a student visa before coming to the UK. Failure to do so means you may be refused entry to the UK on arrival. You can find lots of useful information about visas at www.ox.ac.uk/students/visa. You can apply for your visa three months before your course start date. You should apply for your visa as soon as possible after your place at Somerville has been confirmed since the procedure can take some time. Shortly after you have met any conditions of your Oxford offer, you will be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) number from the Home Office. Somerville will request this number be sent to new undergraduates. For new graduate students the request will be made by your University department or faculty. Your CAS number will be sent to the email address on your original University application form, unless you have since notified the University or Somerville of a different address. You will need your CAS number in order to apply for a student visa to enter the UK. Detailed information about how to apply for your visa is available at www.ox.ac.uk/students/visa/before/tier4. You must make sure you obtain a student visa rather than a visitor or student visitor visa, and try to ensure the visa is issued for the duration of your studies, as it is expensive to extend a student visa in the UK. You should check straight away that you have been given the appropriate time limit on your visa. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid visa at all times during your stay in the UK. You risk being deported from the country if you do not have a valid visa.
Biometric Residence Permit
You must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from your nominated collection location within 10 days of arrival in the UK. You will receive information about this from the UK Visas and Immigration (the Home Office) in your country of application. Please note that you will not be able to register at Somerville without your BRP as we will need to scan this as part of the process. Please visit www.ox.ac.uk/students/visa/before/tier4 if you have any queries.
Scanning passports and BRPs
If you need a visa to enter the UK, Somerville is required by the Home Office and the University of Oxford to scan, and retain images of, certain parts of your passport and your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This is to enable us to comply with UK immigration regulations. Images of these documents will be held securely on our College computer server, with access to the images limited to members of the College’s Academic Office (who work with student data and records) and the College’s Information Technology (IT) department. Your passport and BRP information will be released, on request, only to representatives of the Home Office and to authorised colleagues in the University’s Administrative Services section, in order to comply with immigration regulations.