Immigration control - arrival in the UK

To enter the UK on a student visa, you will need to demonstrate that:

  • You have been accepted for a course of study at a publicly funded university or college, or a 'bona fide'* private institution, or a fee paying independent school; and
  • You are able and intend to follow a full-time degree course, or a weekday full-time course at a single institution involving at least 15 hours per week of organised, daytime study or a full-time course of study at an independent fee paying school; and
  • You are able to meet the costs of your course and maintenance (living expenses including accommodation) and the maintenance of any dependants, without working in the UK or claiming public funds; and
  • You do not intend to work in the UK, except part-time or vacation work if your visa or passport stamp allows you to do so; and
  • You intend to leave the UK at the end of your studies.

*A 'bona fide' institution is one that offers appropriately recognised qualifications, or is accredited by an appropriate body.

Health screening

Upon arrival in the UK you may be asked to provide chest x-rays, regardless of your country of origin.

If you do not have x-rays with you then you may be subject to a health check at the airport, this can delay your journey by a few hours, particularly if there are long queues. To avoid delay, arrange to have a health check and any necessary x-rays in your home country before departing for the UK. It is also useful to bring information on any vaccinations that you have received, as well as any medication that you take regularly. You should carry this documentation in your hand luggage for ease of reference in the event of any queries.

Pre-entry tuberculosis screening:

UK Visas and Immigration have recently announced that they are extending the list of countries that will require screening before being granted a visa for the UK. Check the following website for further information:

Immigration control

On arrival in the UK your documents will be checked. There will be separate control points for EEA (European Economic Area) nationals and other passport holders.

You will be asked to tell the immigration officer the purpose of your stay in the UK, and will need to show:

  • your passport or travel document
  • a letter from BCoT confirming your acceptance of a place on your course
  • evidence of financial support
  • Once your documents have been checked, your passport will be stamped with the current date.

Your will be given a landing card either on the plane or just as you leave the plane. Make sure you complete this before you approach immigration control.Border Force image customs.jpg

Customs control

After immigration control you will pass through customs control, which is divided into three channels:

  • Blue - for travellers from the EU
  • Green - for travellers from outside the EU with no goods to declare
  • Red - for travellers from outside the EU who have goods to declare

You are permitted to bring a personal allowance of goods into the UK without paying duty or tax. There are very strict rules about what you may and may not bring in to the UK with you. Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration information page below for further information:

Border Force image.jpg

Refusal of entry

If you have no entry clearance and the immigration officer refuses to allow you to enter the UK, you may be removed immediately or you may be given temporary admission for a short period. If this happens, you should contact the following organisations for help:

Immigration Advisory Service

Telephone: +44 207 967 1200


Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Telephone: +44 207 251 8708


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