How we operate - Conditions of Service

Our remit

The Staff Immigration Team (SIT) is part of the University of Oxford. The SIT team provide free and impartial advice on immigration matters relating to current and prospective employees, visitors and their accompanying dependents. Our remit includes:

  • Advice and assistance relating to Tier 1 Exceptional Talent, Tier 2 General and Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange
  • Visa renewals or changing visa status
  • Assistance with rejected applications or lost documents
  • Advice on the terms and conditions of your visa
  • Guidance on the requirements, and application process, for Indefinite Leave to Remain/ settlement
  • Guidance on the requirements, and application process, for EEA Registration Certificates and Permanent Residence

Where assistance is required which is outside our current remit, we will refer you to relevant information from the Home Office and/or external legal advice.

We provide advice and assistance in good faith based on information provided by you and your employing/host department or college. It is therefore essential that you provide us with all information and documents which are or might be relevant to your or your family’s immigration case.  We cannot accept responsibility for any negative decisions made on the basis of information not disclosed to us.

In the event of a negative decision by the Home Office we will either use our best efforts to resolve the matter or alternatively refer you to external bodies to assist you.

A detailed breakdown of various areas of responsibility for Immigration and Right to Work, and how they are split between the Staff Immigration Team and departments/colleges, is provided in our Immigration and Right to Work Roles & Responsibilities (127kb) document.

Regulation of immigration advice and services

We are permitted to provide immigration advice and services under a Ministerial Exemption Order.  The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) issues a Code of Standards which the University is obliged to follow.

The OISC may inspect the Staff Immigration Team and client records at any time.

Fees

Our advice and assistance is provided free of charge. Application fees, Immigration Health Surcharge and other related costs are to be met by you. Your employing/host department or college may reimburse you for visa fees at their discretion.

Liaison with external organisations

In some circumstances it may be appropriate to discuss your case with external organisations such as the Home Office or the University’s external legal advisor. We may discuss your case anonymously with other external organisations. Where we need to disclose personal information (such as your name or passport number), we will seek your agreement before doing so.

Confidentiality and data protection

We act in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure that your personal information is not used inappropriately. We will not pass your personal information to external organisations except:

  • Where we have your written consent
  • Where we are required to do so under the terms of our Home Office sponsor licence 
  • Where we are required to do so by law
  • Where we believe you or others may be in danger

Advisors will keep copies of correspondence, application forms and other documents relating to your case for at least six years following the conclusion of your case.

The records we hold may be viewed at any time by external organisations such as auditors, the Home Office and the OISC. All records are held securely in compliance with the Data Protection Act and OISC regulations.

Where we need to retain your personal documents (such as your passport) before sending to the Home Office, we will provide you with a receipt and copies of your documents. All original documents are held in a secure safe and are posted to the Home Office via Recorded or Special Delivery.

Conflict of interest and withdrawals

The Staff Immigration Team are employees of the University of Oxford. The Staff Immigration Team will not be able to advise or act for you (the client) where there is a real or potential conflict of interest between you and the University. In these circumstances, we will notify you in writing.

Complaints

If at any stage you have any concerns regarding the conduct of your case, please raise them with your advisor in writing. If you are not satisfied with the response from your advisor you may contact the Team Leader of the Staff Immigration Team (james.baker@admin.ox.ac.uk) who will provide an initial written response within a reasonable timeframe.

If we are unable to resolve the matter to your satisfaction or you wish to pursue your complaint through other channels, you are entitled to raise it through the OISC Complaints Scheme  Their address is The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, 5th Floor, 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3HF