Visas and Immigration

Visas and Immigration

Please carefully review the following three categories to determine whether or not you need to obtain a UK visa before your arrival in the United Kingdom.

Should you require assistance at any stage of your visa application, please email [email protected].

(A) If you hold an American passport and are studying in Oxford for one or two terms only (under the auspices of OSAP), you will not be required to apply for a visa before entering the UK. Students in this category may (after presenting their OSAP acceptance letter to passport control) be issued a visa at their UK port of entry, valid to remain in the UK, for the purposes of studying, for up to six months.

(B) If you are studying for more than two terms (i.e. longer than six months) you will be required to obtain a Study Visa before your arrival in the UK, irrespective of your nationality. Prior to applying for your visa, all students in this category should contact OSAP for a sponsor letter, which is is required as part of your visa application. For Associate Members, this letter will be issued by OSAP. For Visiting Students, this letter will be issued by your Oxford University college.

Once you have your sponsor letter (either from OSAP or your Oxford University college), you should apply for your Study Visa via the UK Visas and Immigration online application website.

(C) Irrespective of the number of terms you intend to study, if you do not possess an American passport, you may be required to obtain a Short-term Study Visa before your departure for the UK. If you are not an American passport holder, please this UK Visas and Immigration website to determine if you will need to apply for a visa before arriving in the UK.

If you fall under categories (B) or (C) above, please ensure that you obtain a visa sponsor letter from OSAP before you apply for a Tier 4 General Student Visa or a Short-term Study Visa as failure to do so will cause your application to be rejected.

Should you require assistance at any stage of your visa application, please email [email protected].


The Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP) is the trading name and a division of the Washington International Studies Council (WISC).

The Washington International Studies Council (WISC) holds accreditation from both the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and the British Accreditation Council (BAC). WISC also holds a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence from U.K. Visas and Immigration, enabling WISC to sponsor selected students to study in Oxford under the UK’s points-based immigration system.

"The work was challenging and both my tutors were wonderful! Joining the crew team was one of the best things I did here; I would highly recommend getting involved in sports because you get to know so many people and meet lots of British students."

"I did not realize how much work I would actually be doing, but the tutors were not only friendly and helpful but really made me enjoy my work. I learned to really think for myself and could explore my own interests."