Our International Student Advice handbook has lots of useful information on pre-arrival and orientation to help students coming from outside the UK prepare for their move to the UK during your studies at the University of East London.

The handbook provides guidance on the following:

  • Orientation events
  • Preparing to travel to the UK
  • Arriving in the UK
  • Border control
  • Travelling to your accommodation
  • Life in the UK
  • Opening a UK bank account and student visa information, such as; collecting your Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP), working in the UK, registering with the police, and much more!

Accommodation

We recommend that you think carefully about where you plan to live in the UK during your studies. The most convenient place to stay during your studies will be on campus at our University Halls of Residence.

If you are considering living off-campus, you should read our guide for international students living-off campus to ensure you think about all the important factors when deciding how far away from the University is appropriate to live.

Preparing to travel to the UK

In addition to the information in our International Student Advice handbook, you can also find information on our website to help you prepare before you arrive to the UK.

When you are preparing for your arrival in the UK, you may have questions about what to bring and what to expect. Useful information can be found on the UKCISA website.

Can I travel whilst my application is pending?

You should not plan to travel to the UK, this includes booking your flight, whilst your visa application is pending. If you do leave your home country whilst your application is pending, this can cause significant implications to your application, and a high chance your student visa application will become invalid.

If you are a national that does not require to apply for entry clearance (visa) before you travel to the UK to enter as a visitor (for example, if you are from the EU or USA), you must not attempt to travel to the UK whilst your student visa application is pending. This could cause both visa and financial implications for you, as you will be required to return to the country where you submitted your student visa application and re-enter the UK once your student visa has been granted.

Checking your Visa vignette

If you have been issued with a 90-day entry visa vignette (visa sticker in your passport) you should check the information on this visa along with the UKVI decision letter is correct, as these details usually match the information that will be printed on your BRP card that you will collect when you arrive in the UK:

  • Name and date of birth
  • You have been granted the correct visa route that you applied for
  • UEL's sponsor licence number
  • The start and end dates are correct. More information about this can be found on our Student visa webpage, under 'Length of Visa'.
  • Work conditions are correct
  • The condition to register with the police (if required) - this condition will only be shown on your visa vignette, should you be required to register with the police.

If you notice any errors on your vignette or decision letter, you will need to request these errors are amended before you travel, in line with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. 

We would advise that you contact the International Student Advice team, through the CAS Shield Portal, so we can provide support and guidance to you on reporting the errors to UKVI.

What to expect at Border Control

When you arrive in the UK, you will go through immigration and customs control, also known as Border control. 

You will need to show:

  • Your identity document, such as your passport (and your visa if applicable). 
  • From March 18 2022, you are no longer required to complete a Passenger Locator form to enter the UK.

The Border officials may ask why you are travelling to the UK. You should explain that you are coming to the UK to study and it would be advisable to carry a copy of your offer letter and Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) with you in your hand luggage to confirm this.

You must travel to the UK within the validity of the 90-day entry visa (if applicable) and before the last date of enrolment unless special permission has been given.

It is important when you arrive to the UK to ensure that you see an immigration official/officer and request a date stamp on your 90-day entry visa vignette, as this is your evidence of when you entered the UK. You will need to provide evidence of this to complete your Right to Study check.

Entering the UK using the eGates

It is important to be aware of the eGates when arriving in the UK. They are automated self-service barriers located at immigration areas in UK airports. You can enter the UK via the eGates if you are a national from an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the USA for quicker entry.

If you enter the UK using the eGates, you will not be given a stamp in your passport and will need to keep evidence of the date that you entered the UK (such as flight tickets and/or boarding pass) and provide these in addition to your other documents when you enrol. You will also need to keep these documents safe for the duration of your stay in the UK to prove the date that you entered the UK.

It is important that you enter the UK during the validity of your student visa. If you enter the UK before the start date of your student visa permission (for some of you before the start date of your 90-day entry visa vignette) using the eGates, you will enter the UK as a visitor. You will not be able to enrol onto your course as a visitor and will be required to leave the Common Travel Area (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey) and re-enter the UK after your student visa is valid in order to 'activate' your student visa.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals on a student visa

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national and have applied for a student visa using the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' App you will receive an electronic visa. You will not receive a 90-day entry visa vignette in your passport or a BRP card and must not travel to the UK until you have confirmation that your student visa permission has been granted.

The Home Office has created a guide explaining how to prove your rights in the UK, for example your right to study or work. You can also use this service to view and prove your immigration status.

Collecting your BRP card

Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is your visa. It will show the full length of your visa and contains your biometric details (fingerprints and photograph of your face) in conjunction with the details of your visa. This includes:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The start date of your student visa
  • The end date of your student visa
  • Working conditions attached to your visa

You will have to collect your BRP from a named Post Office within ten days of arriving in the UK, though currently there is some flexibility if you are required to quarantine when you arrive in the UK. This Post Office address will be confirmed on your visa decision letter or in some cases your visa application. You will need to show your 90-day entry visa vignette and your UKVI BRP decision letter to collect your BRP card.

As soon as you receive your BRP, you should take copies of both the front and the back of the card. We would recommend emailing these to yourself to keep them safe.

When you collect your BRP, please check to make sure that all the details are correct. 

Under 18?

If you are under the age of 18, you will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult when you collect your BRP. You cannot collect it yourself.

To do this at the Post Office, you must nominate someone you trust who can go with you. They will need to provide evidence of their identity. Please allow enough time for the nomination to be approved.

Checking your BRP card for errors

You should ensure to check your BRP carefully when you receive it. If there is a problem with your BRP when it arrives, you must report it within ten days otherwise you may have to apply and pay for a replacement.

If you notice errors on your BRP card, you can find information on our internal website for students on how to check your BRP for errors and contacting an International Student Adviser for support with reporting your error to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), as you will need to get the errors corrected.

Police Registration

You may need to register with the police upon your arrival to the UK and after any period of mandatory quarantine depending on your nationality and visa conditions. You can find more information on the process of registering with the police by visiting the Overseas Visitors' Register Office (OVRO) website. We also have some useful information about keeping your Police Registration Certificate up to date, which you will be required to do as a condition of your visa on our intranet pages, which you will be able to access once you are fully enrolled.

Enrolment and Right to Study Check

Online Enrolment is our registration process and is a critical step to complete in order to become a student at the University of East London. As an international student, you will also be required to complete the Right to Study check. Get enrolled now