UK Border Advice

As a student looking forward to beginning your studies in the UK this year you need to ensure you make the correct arrangements for your journey. As part of your preparation we want to make sure you have everything you need to get through the UK border as securely and quickly as possible. The following advice explains some of things you can do to help with this:

  1. Do not attempt to enter the UK before the start date of your visa - you will be turned away and may not be required to start your course.
  2. Make a note of a suitable UK contact including full name, address and a phone number which will be required when you complete your landing card. This can be the University address or the contact details of your landlord.
  3. If required, ensure you complete your landing card before you meet the Border Force officer in the UK to save time when going through immigration control.
  4. Have your passport ready at all times. If you carry your passport in a protective wallet, take it out before you present it to a Border Force officer.
  5. Never give false or misleading information (including forged or counterfeit documents) to a Border Force officer. You must answer any questions asked of you honestly.
  6. Have your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number or visitor visa letter, and medical card (if you have one) in your hand luggage that you carry with you on to the aircraft. You are also advised to carry your unconditional offer letter (if you have one), the certificates of the qualifications used to be offered your place, a recent bank statement and any relevant medical documentation in your hand luggage as well.
  7. There are restrictions on food products that you can bring to the UK from outside the European Union, even for personal use. Restrictions apply to products made from meat, dairy products, fish, eggs and honey, as well as some fruit, vegetables and plants (e.g. bulbs, seeds, cut flowers and tree bark). You are advised to check the Home Office website for the most up to date list of restricted items.
  8. There are also restrictions on the amount of goods such as tobacco, alcohol and gifts you can bring in the UK. If you exceed your allowances all of your goods could be taken away from you, without financial reimbursement, so it is best to ensure that you do not by more than you are allowed.
  9. Never bring in counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, firearms (including realistic imitations), offensive weapons (including knives) or indecent or obscene material. Some of these items are restricted and require a licence or permit to be bought into the UK.
  10. Make sure you are familiar with the conditions of your visa including the number of hours you are allowed to work, the provisions which you are allowed and the date your visa expires.
  11. You must declare any sums of cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union.
  12. Some airports, particularly large ones with multiple terminals, will have dedicated student lanes for immigration control, especially at the start of term. Look out for these and ensure that you use them where available.

If you would like further information on any of the above please visit the UK Border Agency website for more information.