Students Staff

Arriving in the UK

When you arrive at a port of entry in the UK, your passport and entry clearance/immigration documents will be checked to ensure they are valid. You may also be asked to show other documents to a Border official that show you meet the requirements to be granted entry for the main purpose of your visit to the UK. If your visa is a sticker in an old passport you must bring both passports with you to enter the UK.

Tier 4

If you have been issued with a 30 day vignette in your passport you must arrive in the UK during its validity. If you can’t arriove by the day it expires you must apply for a new 30 day entry clearance vignette. You will have to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the collection location you designated.

Make sure you carry ALL the documents you used to apply for your Tier 4 visa in your hand luggage when you arrive in the UK, and that includes a copy of your CAS statement and the UKVI outcome letter. You will need these at the border and, if applicable, to collect your BRP.

Please be aware that the Home Office have the right to refuse you entry if, when interviewed by a Border official, you are not able to hold a simple conversation in English without the need of an interpreter. However, interviews will not be held as a matter of routine.

Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the United States of America

  • When you arrive at the airport, if you have a biometric passport, you will be directed to use the e:gates so won’t see a Border official or have your passport stamped. The UK government have published some useful guidance about arriving at the UK border and using the e:gates. To activate your Tier 4 visa and have the right to study with us, you’ll need to enter the UK during the 30 day validity of your Tier 4 entry clearance sticker in your passport.
  • You will need to keep evidence of your travel into the UK, such as your airline ticket or boarding pass. You’ll need these for various reasons in the UK, including to register with us on your course. To register you we will need to check your identity and take copies of your passport, entry clearance vignette and BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) if you have one, we will also need to see evidence (electronic or paper) that you entered the UK during the 30 day validity of your Tier 4 entry clearance sticker and record the date you entered on our systems.
  • If you come to the UK before your Tier 4 entry clearance starts you would automatically be entered as a visitor to the UK. Visitors cannot study courses of a duration of more than 30 days so you’d need to leave the Common Travel Area (CTA) and re-enter the UK via the e:gates before you can be registered and start your studies. You won’t be able to attend and start your course if you aren’t able to supply us with the evidence we need of your right to study in the UK and complete your registration with the University. If you travel into the UK via the Common Travel Area i.e. Dublin, different conditions apply but you will still need to leave the CTA and re-enter if your course finishes more than 3 calendar months from the date your entered the CTA, we’ll provide you further advice at registration. Contact our International Services Team if you have already booked a non-refundable flight or have already entered the UK via the Republic of Ireland for advice.

Short-term student

If you are a non-visa national coming to the UK to study for less than 6 months you may be seeking entry upon arrival as a Short-term student (STS).

Provided you can show that you meet the immigration rules and requirements for the category you are seeking entry under, you should have a Short Term Student stamp placed in your passport. Make it clear to the Border Force officer that you are coming to study and check the stamp they place in your passport is the one for a short-term student.

You must not use the e:gates, if you do you and realise before you leave the immigration hall you should return and speak with a Border Official to explain you need a STS stamp. If you leave the immigration/arrivals hall at the airport before you realise, you will be in the UK as a visitor and won’t be able to study for more than 30 days. You would have to leave the Common Travel Area and re-enter the UK to obtain the correct STS entry stamp. You will receive advice at registration. Read our Short-term student page for more information.

Before you travel

Before you travel we recommend you read the detailed information regarding customs and travel, including what you can expect when arriving in the UK and appeals, produced by the Home Office. UKCISA and the British Council also produce useful guidance and information that is worth reading.

Problems at the UK Border

If you experience any difficulty with Border Force on entry to the UK you should ask the officer to telephone the International Services team on 01206 874637, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. If you gain entry to the UK but have a problem please email the International Services team for advice.