Arriving from Abroad

Wolfson’s community includes students from 89 different nationalities. Please see below for useful information and links to support for international students. The University of Oxford also has information for international students at Oxford.

Most international students coming to the University to study must apply for a Student visa (under the Student Route, which has replaced Tier 4 Student system) before coming to the UK to start your course. Learn more.

The University has dedicated visa and immigration experts to assist you with information and advice on studying in the UK as an international student. Learn more.

The University understands that there are other questions to which many students, applicants and offer holders seek answers. The University has dedicated Brexit pages to provide you with the most up to date information. Learn more.

Visa and immigration rules have changed for EU, EEA nationals and Switzerland (excluding Ireland). Learn more.

If you are entering the UK on a visa you must ensure that a scan of your passport and visa/Biometric Residence Permit card have been received by the College Academic Office at registration, and immediately every time you renew your passport and/or visa.

Please note that we cannot register and enrol you on your course until you have had your documents checked and scanned.

If you need to apply for a new visa, your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number will be issued by your department.

Students from some countries may have to register with the local police station. Full information may be found on the University’s Registering with the Police page.

The University publishes an excellent guide on bank accounts in the UK, which can be downloaded from the International Students page (on the right-hand side of the page).

You will find that banks require several types of documentary evidence proving your identity and confirming your status as a student.

Once you have been enrolled on your course after college registration, you can download a copy of the University enrolment certificate which can be used to open a bank account and for council tax waiver purposes. To do this you will need to login to Student Self Service on the University website. You can email the certificate to the Academic Office ( Make sure to arrange this at least a day before your visit to the bank to make sure it is ready for you in time.

Helpful hint: make sure your home address is correct on the student database before downloading the certificate. Most banks will not accept a certificate for an international student where the home address is listed as being in the UK.

For anyone coming to the UK for more than 6 months an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is paid as part of a student visa application, including student dependants. The IHS must be paid even if you have your own private medical insurance and do not intend to use the NHS. Paying the IHS means that you will have access to the UK’s National Health Service on the same basis as other UK residents.

The IHS charge is £470 per year for visa applications made from late October 2020. Full details of how charging (and refunds) are administered are available on the Home Office website.

All students and their families should register with a doctor (usually called a general practitioner or GP in the UK) as soon as possible after arrival, and the services of a GP are free under the National Health Service (NHS). While you can register with any Oxford GP surgery accepting patients, Wolfson has an affiliation with a local GP surgery that is willing to provide treatment under the NHS for members of the College and their families who live in College accommodation or who are resident in central or North Oxford. The majority of Wolfson students register with this GP (also referred to as the College Doctor). Further information on the College Doctor and other medical information can be found here.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs has a dedicated section on Health and Healthcare in the UK with lots of helpful information.

Moving to a new country is usually an exciting experience, but adapting to a new environment can also be challenging, both emotionally and logistically. The following are links to some of the support available in Oxford.

University Counselling Service – provides support for students experiencing personal difficulties

Counselling Service podcast for international students – this podcast explores some of the emotional challenges faced by international students. It focuses on issues around coping with change, adapting to a new culture and language, and looks at some of the emotions that may emerge in the process of adjustment to a new environment.

Wolfson welfare support – for confidential listening and advice, students can speak to any member of the college welfare team made up of the Senior Tutor, student welfare officers and student peer supporters.

Oxford University Language Centre – the Language Centre runs courses in English such as academic writing and conversations skills.

Oxford University Student Union – the Student Union represents all students at Oxford and provides support and services for home and international students alike.