We are really looking forward to giving you a warm welcome to UEA. Arriving in a new country can be an exciting time, but it can also be a little daunting, especially after a long journey. The information below should help you to prepare for your arrival in the UK.
See our Frequently Asked Questions
Visas and Immigration
Travellers from other countries must hold appropriate UK immigration permission to enter the UK. You can check if you need a UK visa on the UK Government website or contact Student Life International for further support.
If you are coming to UEA to study, it is most likely that you will have one of the following types of UK immigration permission:
This is the most common type of visa that students apply for when coming to study in the UK. If you are coming to study with us for 6 months or longer, and have no other UK immigration permission, you have probably applied for a Student route visa.
If you visited a UK Visa Application Centre as part of the application process, you will probably have a visa vignette (sticker) in your passport, giving you a 90-day period in which to enter the UK. You should show this to the Border Officer when you pass through Border Control at the airport.
If you applied for your Student route visa using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app then you will not have a visa vignette in your passport. Your immigration status is available digitally and you can show this by using the ID Check app.
We recommend that you travel with the supporting documents from your visa application in your hand luggage, as these can be requested by a Border Officer.
If you need further advice and guidance on applying for a Student visa, please click the link below.
If your course at UEA is less than 6 months long, you have probably applied for a Standard Visitor visa. If you attended a UK Visa Application Centre as part of your application, you will have been issued as a visa vignette (sticker) in your passport. If you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to apply, your immigration status will be digital and available in the ID Check app.
If you are a ‘non-visa national’ – meaning that you do not need to apply for Standard Visitor permission before travelling to the UK – and have not applied for a visa in advance of travel, you will not have a vignette in your passport. You are essentially requesting permission to enter the UK, upon arrival. You should carry all supporting documents in your hand luggage, so they can be assessed by a Border Officer, if they request to see them.
If you need further advice and guidance on coming to the UK as a Standard Visitor, please click the link below.
If you have ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to travel with your passport or National ID card.
The deadline for most people to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021. There are some exceptions to this deadline, the details of which can be found by visiting the relevant UK Government webpages.
Border Control & Customs
We recommend that you travel with the supporting documents that you used to apply for visa in your hand luggage. A Border Officer could ask to see these when you go through Border Control. At minimum, this will include:
- CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies)
- Financial Evidence (a bank statement or sponsorship letter)
But for some students this may also include:
- ATAS certificate (required for some courses)
- TB Test certificate (required when travelling from some countries)
- Parental consent letter & birth certificate (if you were under 18 when you made your visa application)
Students coming from non-visa national countries for less than 6 months, who have not applied for a Standard Visitor visa in advance of travel, will also need to carry their supporting documents in their hand luggage. A Border Officer may request these before granting permission to enter the UK, at the border.
You can expect a UK Border Officer to ask to see your passport and visa. They may also ask to see your CAS and any other supporting documents you used to apply for your visa.
The Border Officer may also ask you some simple questions about the purpose of your visit to the UK. These might include questions like:
- Why are you coming to the UK?
- Where will you be studying?
- What course or subject will you study?
- How will you fund your time in the UK?
- Where will you be living?
It is quite normal for Border Officers to ask questions like this. You should answer them honestly.
There are eGates available at most major UK airports. You can use an eGate if you:
- have a biometric passport
- are over 18 years old (or are 12-17 years old and accompanied by an adult)
- are either a British citizen or a national of: an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the USA
You can find more information on using eGates on the UK Government website.
If you use an eGate for entry, you must make sure that you keep your Boarding Pass as evidence of your date of entry to the UK, as you will not receive a stamp at Border Control. UEA must see evidence of your UK entry date in order to register you on your course.
As with travelling into most countries, there are certain good and products that you are not permitted to bring to the UK, some that are subject to limitation, and some that are subject to tax (and/or duty) when you bring in a certain amount. You can find more information on prohibited goods, and allowances on other goods, on the relevant UK Government webpage.
When you arrive at Customs, you will generally find it divided into two ‘channels’ or exits: one red and one green. If you have nothing to declare – either because you are not carrying any goods subject to ban, restriction, or allowances, or because you have declared these in advance – you can use the green channel. You must use the red channel if you need to make a declaration.
Travelling to UEA
Once you have made it through the airport, there are a number of options available to you for travelling to UEA:
Meet and Greet
If you are arriving at the start of the academic year, you may be able to benefit from our Meet and Greet coach service, if arriving into London Heathrow Airport. You can book a seat on one of these coaches when completing the International Student Arrivals Form.
You can check out the information on our Travel and Transport pages for help with planning your journey to UEA. This could include travel by train, bus, coach and/or taxi.
If you are at Border Control and you need urgent help during office hours (Monday to Friday, 9:00-17:00) you can email Student Life International by clicking on the link below. Alternatively, you can call Reception on (+44)1603 592761. Please leave a contact telephone number so a member of Student Life International can get back to you.
If you need help outside of office hours, you can get in touch with a member of staff by calling (+44)7795591386. This number will either be answered by a member of our Residential Life Team, or by UEA Security.
If the assistance you need is non-urgent, please email Student Life International, and a member of the team will get back to you.
If you have lost your passport or visa document, please contact Student Life International for support as soon as possible.
UK Government have now relaxed most coronavirus-related travel restrictions effecting UK entry. This could still be subject to change. We strongly recommend that you check up-to-date official guidance before travelling, to ensure that you can comply with any relevant rules.
If you still have questions after reading the GOV UK guidance, you can contact the Student Information Zone, who are available via Live Chat and email.
As part of completing the registration process, you will be told how to collect your BRP, if you selected UEA as your Alternative Collection Location (ACL). Please check your registration emails for more information, when you arrive.
If you selected a Post Office as your collection location, you will need to go there to collect your BRP. You should aim to do this within 10 days of arriving in the UK. You must collect your BRP before your visa vignette expires.
If you are unsure where to collect your BRP from, you can check this on your Home Office Decision Letter.
Check out the Welcome Pages on the UEA website for more information about starting your journey with us at UEA.