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.

When you get your visa, you must make sure you check it thoroughly for any errors.  You should also check your visa end dates are correct.

  • If you applied for a visa in the UK, you can find information about what you need to check, including visa end dates, on the UKCISA website under ‘Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)’.

  • If you applied for your visa outside the UK, you can find information about what you need to check, including visa end dates, on the UKCISA website under ‘Receiving your Decision’.

There are two common details that do not need to be corrected:

  • If you have a long name and the end of it has been cut off. This is because BRP cards can only hold so many characters.

  • If your BRP expires on 31 December 2024 but your course or visa permission should run for longer than this. No BRPs are currently being printed with an end date beyond this date. You will be contacted by UKVI nearer the time, but you need not take any action right now.

If you find an error on your BRP card or you are not sure if your BRP is correct, it is important you contact Student Life International for assistance.  We can let you know what to do next and help you to report this.  It is important that you report any BRP errors quickly, otherwise you may need to apply and pay for a replacement. You are advised not to leave the UK between reporting an error and receiving a corrected BRP.

You can find further information on the Gov UK website. If you need to apply for an administrative review there is a fee, but this fee will be refunded if UKVI agree there is a mistake on your BRP.

If you have any Student visa dependants who find errors with their BRPs, this is something they need to report themselves, using the above Gov UK link.

You must ensure that you travel to the UK on dates that are within the validity of the visa you have applied for your UEA course.  This will ensure you activate your immigration permission as a student.  If you arrive before this date, there’s a chance you may enter the country on the wrong immigration permission.  This will mean you will have to leave and re-enter the UK.

If you expect to get to UEA later than your course start date, please do let us know by filling in the Arrivals form.

Where students need to find suitable accommodation for themselves and their families upon arrival in Norwich, we advise that the student travels alone first, wherever possible, and secures accommodation before their family travels to join them. This is because it is often easier and cheaper for an individual student to stay in temporary accommodation (like a hotel or Airbnb) whilst looking for a longer-term home for their family. This also ensures that your arrival and commencement of your studies is not delayed by trying to arrange accommodation from outside the UK. If you arrive significantly after the start of teaching, the University may not be able to register you on your course.

We would like to reassure you that Dependants accompanying Student visa holders are not generally required to travel to the UK at the same time as the student themselves. Travelling later should not have an impact on your dependents’ visas, so long as they travel to the UK before the end date on their vignette(s).

It is important to have your passport and visa ready for inspection when you arrive at Border Control.  You may also wish to have the supporting documents you used to apply for your visa in your hand luggage – in particular your CAS statement, financial evidence and details of where you are staying.  Please note that if you are a non-visa national applying for a Visitor visa at the border, you will not yet have a visa and should carry all your supporting documents with you.  Please refer to our Visitor visa page for further information.

We would strongly advise you check the Gov UK webpage on Entering the UK, to give you an idea of what to expect and the sorts of things you can bring into the UK. The UK Border Force have also created a document with 10 top tips to make sure you have everything you need to make arriving at Border Control as smooth as possible. You can find this here.

The Border Officer may also ask you some simple questions about the purpose of your visit to the UK and you should answer them honestly. 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?

If you have an entry clearance visa or a visa that covers your course as a sticker in your passport, this should be stamped by Border Force on arrival.  Nationals of some countries may be able to use the eGates on arrival in the UK, if you have digital visa status or are eligible to apply for a Visitor visa at the border.  These countries are EEA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA.  If you have digital visa status, you will be admitted on your Student visa, as long as you enter through the eGates after the start date of your Student visa.  If you use eGates, you will need to show UEA evidence of when you arrived in the UK at your Right to Study Check.  You can use your boarding pass for this purpose.

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.
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.

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 at London Heathrow Airport. You can book a seat on one of these coaches when completing the International Student Arrivals Form. This is also the form you can use to inform UEA of your intended arrival date, regardless of whether you will be booking a seat on a coach.

Independent Travel

If you are making your own onward travel arrangements, you can find a helpful page on UKCISA’s website that summarises the various transport options in the UK and how these work here. We also have information to help you plan your journey to UEA on our Travel and Transport pages. This includes information on travelling by train, bus, coach and/or taxi.

Student Life International also have helpsheets on travelling from London Heathrow and from Norwich airport.  You can request a copy of these by emailing Student Life International.

If you have lost your passport or visa before, during or after travel, please contact Student Life International for support as soon as possible.

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 emails about registration for more information.

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 and must have collected 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, which you should have received to the email address you used in your visa application.

You can find out more information about starting your journey with us at UEA on the Welcome pages of the UEA website.

Student Life International have also created a few pages that contain important information to consider regarding your visa and what to do when you arrive in the UK that you can access here.