If your Student visa (previously Tier 4) application is successful you will receive an initial visa called a vignette, valid for 90 days, that allows you to travel to the UK. You will also receive a decision letter explaining the full details of your immigration permission. Your full visa length will be stated on the decision letter. It is very important that you keep the letter safe and bring it with you when you travel to the UK.
e-Gates at the airport
Nationals of some countries are able to now use the e-Gates at some UK airports, meaning less time is spent at border control. If you have a Student visa and are a national of an eligible country you may be able to use the e-Gate, however, this means you will not be able to access a stamp on your vignette to prove that you have entered during its 90 day validity. When you enrol, we will need to see that you have arrived in the UK during the 90 day period stated on the vignette in your passport.
We would strongly recommend that all students on a Student visa enter the UK having seen a border control officer and received a stamp on their vignette, regardless of nationality. In this way, you can be sure that you have entered at the right time and your Student visa is "activated".
If you have entered through the e-Gate, you must bring a copy of your flight boarding pass to enrolment for us to see and add to your record. We will not be able to enrol you without it.
If you have come in through the e-Gates before the dates of the 90 day vignette, you will only have a tourist or visit visa so we will ask you to leave the UK and return within the 90 days on the vignette to "activate" your Student visa.
If you have entered the UK after the dates on your vignette, then your Student visa is no longer valid and you will need to leave the UK to apply for a new vignette. This may mean that you will not be able to start your course due to the delays this will cause.
To find out about eligibility to use the e-Gates and which airports have the facility please visit UKVI website here.
If you have any questions about e-Gates or your visa and when you should arrive, please contact our Advice Service on firstname.lastname@example.org.