To comply with your visa, you might need to do several things when you get here.

When you can arrive

You can arrive in the UK up to one month before your course start date, if your course is six months or longer, or a pre-sessional course that is less than six months.

If your course is fewer than six months long, you can arrive seven days before your course start date.

Important: You must always arrive in the UK within the validity of your Student visa. This will either be within the validity of your 90-day vignette (if you have been issued one) or after the valid from date of your Student visa (this applies to most EU nationals who have been issued a digital immigration status).

As part of the Sussex registration process, you will need to show either your date-stamped 90-day vignette or a flight ticket/boarding pass showing the date you entered the UK. If you have entered the UK before the validity of your Student visa, you will not be able to register for your course. You will need to leave the UK and re-enter during the validity of your Student visa.

EU identity cards

You can use your EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK if you have:

See more about what EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need to enter the UK.

What to do at the UK border

When your arrive in the UK you will have to go through border control.

Important: You may be able to use an ePassport gate at the UK border. If you use one, bring your flight ticket or boarding pass to registration so we can take a copy. We can’t register you for Sussex without this. Find out what to do at the border if you have a visa for a short course.

From outside the EU/EEA

At border control, you will have to meet a Border Force Officer (BFO).

There the BFO will look at your Passport, and check your 90-day vignette (sticker in your passport), if you have been issued one. They may also ask you some questions about the purpose of your stay. They may also request to see your:

  • CAS/Offer letter from the University
  • financial documents
  • where you are planning to stay.

You should have all these documents prepared and to hand – physical format is often preferred.

Once the Border Force Officer has seen you they will stamp your 90-day vignette.

EU and EEA students – Digital Visa Status (eVisa)  

Find out more about eVisas from GOV.UK.

It can be helpful to carry any old documents as well for the border incase further questions are asked.

See more from Visas and immigration