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Clearing immigration

This information is for September 2020. It will be updated for September 2021 shortly.

Find out what you'll need to bring, which channel to pass through in the customs hall and what to do if problems arise.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, rules and regulations regarding immigration are constantly changing. For further information please visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.

Immigration process at the airport

Even if you already have a student visa, the immigration officer may still ask you to prove that you are a genuine student coming to study with us and that you'll be leaving at the end of your studies.

The Immigration Officer must also be satisfied that you speak English at the required level, without needing an interpreter.

Another part of the immigration process is health control. You might be asked to undergo a brief, routine health check by the airport doctor, which may include a chest X-ray as part of a short medical examination if you don't have a copy of your chest X-ray report with you. The health check will take place in a separate room. Afterwards you will have to return to immigration control.

You should make sure that you have all the correct documents with you in your hand luggage. As long as your documents are in order, you should pass through immigration smoothly.

Problems at immigration

If you're carrying the correct documents you should not have any difficulties. If you do, ask the Immigration Officer to contact us (keep the telephone number with you):

International Student Support enquiries

Contact us through Student Connect

Our offices are open from 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.

Customs Control

After passing through passport control, you need to go to the baggage reclaim area. After you have collected your luggage you'll go through the customs hall.

There are three channels:

Blue channel

Use the blue channel if you are travelling from a country within the European Union (EU) with no banned or restricted goods.

Green channel

Exit the green channel if you're travelling from outside the European Union and have nothing to declare.

Red channel

Exit the red channel if you have goods to declare.

Luggage inspection

You may be asked to open your luggage for inspection in customs control. If requested, you must open, unpack and repack your luggage.

You should check before you leave home what can and cannot be brought into the UK and what you might need to declare.