A visa or entry clearance will not be required if a person holds a United Kingdom passport or one issued by another country in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland.
There are various advantages of having the entry clearance including: You can get the permission to stay for the full length of your course; You will quickly clear immigration control at the airport in the UK; You can appeal from within the UK in case of any problem at immigration control in the UK; You would be able to check before traveling that you have been given an entry clearance sticker allowing you to work part-time; In case you later change your mind about how long you want to study in the UK, you will be able to ask the Border and Immigration Agency in the UK to allow you to stay longer. You will not be able to do this if you do not have entry clearance, unless the course is at degree level or above. Instead, it would be expected of you to return to your home country and apply for entry clearance. This restriction applies even to British nationals (overseas), British overseas territories citizens, British overseas citizens, British protected persons and British subjects.
Applying for Entry Clearance
To obtain entry clearance, you must apply at the British Mission in your home country. The British Mission will give you a form to fill in and information about the documents you need to provide.
There is a charge for the application. You will need to satisfy the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) at the British Mission that you meet the students’ immigration requirements, who will then issue entry clearance in the form of a sticker in your passport. The entry clearance should normally be valid for the entire duration of your course. The Immigration Officer, at the UK’s port of entry will put a date stamp in your passport to show when you entered the UK. Your permission to be in the UK expires on the date indicated on the entry clearance.
The forms required
For getting an entry clearance, you will have to contact your local British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate-General for entry clearance form. For more information contact your nearest Canam office. The documents to be included with the form (pl check with Canam counselors for the latest updates)
- Your passport
- Your recent passport-sized photograph
- Appropriate fee paid in local currency
- Documents proving that you meet the entry requirements.
- A letter of acceptance on the course
- Evidence that you can pay the course fees and support yourself and your family
- Proof of Accommodation (in certain cases)
The requirements for Student Entry Clearance
The citizens of non-EEA countries require permission, known as ‘leave to enter’, for entering the UK. The student needs to meet the following requirements, for entering the UK. He should:
- Have been accepted for a course of study, to be provided by an organization which is included on the UK’s Department for Education and Skills’ Register of Education and Training Providers.
Have been accepted for a course of study at:
- A publicly funded institution of further or higher education or
- A bona fide private education institution which maintains satisfactory records of enrolment and attendance or
- An independent fee-paying school outside the maintained sector; and
- Be able and intend to follow either: (a) a recognized full-time degree course at a publicly funded institution of further or higher education or (b) a weekday full-time course involving attendance at a single institution for a minimum of 15 hours’ organized daytime study per week of a single subject or directly related subjects or (c) a full-time course at an independent fee-paying school; and
- Have enrolled at an independent fee-paying school on a full-time course of studies, meeting the requirements of the Education Act 1944, if under 16 years; and
- Intend to leave the United Kingdom, after the completion of his or her studies; and
- Not intend to engage in business or take up employment in the UK, except part-time or vacation work undertaken with the consent of the Secretary of State for Employment and
- Be able to meet the costs of his or her course and accommodation, and the maintenance of him/herself and any dependants without taking employment or engaging in business or having recourse to public funds.
For more information, contact your nearest Canam office.
Your first step after arriving in the UK would be to pass through immigration control. The authorities need to ensure that everyone entering the UK has a legitimate reason to be here. Given below is a list of steps to be followed:
- After entering the terminal building, follow the signs for ‘Arrivals’, which will lead you to the passport control area. (Follow the signs for ‘Flight Connections’ if you are to board another flight at the same airport and later follow the signs for Arrivals’ at your final airport.)
- You will find electronic screens indicating where to queue, after reaching passport control. There will be two types of queue: one for travelers with British or EEA passports; and other one for all other passport-holders. We advise you to join the correct queue to avoid wasting a considerable amount of time.
- At some airports, flight number is used to sort the arriving passengers, as they enter the immigration control area. Thus, we will advise you to have this number to hand, found on your flight number on your boarding card and ticket stub. This number would be needed later as well, for the collecting your baggage. So we would recommend you to keep this information eve after leaving the plane.
- Have all your documents ready and arranged in proper order as the immigration at the front desk would want to see them. Particularly, you should be ready with your letter of acceptance from your institution and evidence of your funding, like sponsor’s letter or bank statements. The immigration officer will check that you have an up-to-date passport and, if required, a valid visa or entry clearance and might also ask certain questions about yourself, including where you will be staying and what you intend to do during your stay in the UK.
- You would also be required to undergo a brief, routine health check by the airport doctor, which can include an X-ray, taking place in a separate room. Later, you will have to return to immigration control.
If an entry clearance was not required by you before leaving your home country, the immigration officer will put a stamp in your passport showing how long you are allowed to stay and any special conditions, like registering with the police. If you obtained entry clearance (a visa or entry certificate) before you left your home country, the immigration officer will put a stamp in your passport showing the date you entered the UK. The conditions of your stay will already be printed on your entry clearance. You would smoothly pass through the immigration, as long as your documents are in order. But, in case you need help, you can:
- * Ask the immigration officer to call your college or university (keep the number readily available) or
- * Ask to meet a representative of the Immigration Advisory Service, which has offices in a number of UK cities. You can also reach them on the following numbers:
Immigration Advisory Service
Now, your next step is to move on to the baggage reclaim area and collect your luggage from the carousel that has your flight number on it. You can take the assistance of airport staff in case you are unable to find your luggage. You have to pass through customs control after collecting your luggage, where you have a choice of three different channels.