right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Arriving at Heathrow with Tier 4 Visa

KajonKajon 4349 replies130 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
I cannot believe S2 is now just a few weeks away from heading to Oxford! After he gathers his luggage at Heathrow does he simply head out the door marked "nothing to declare" like we do for holiday travel or is he required to stop at an immigration desk to show his Visa? I know he has to pickup other immigration docs once he arrives at school, but I am unclear about the airport arrival.
10 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Arriving at Heathrow with Tier 4 Visa

  • KajonKajon 4349 replies130 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
    ^^^Sorry for posting without first researching. I see now that he has to go through immigration and make sure he has a copy of CAS, UK address and college offer letter and make sure he gets stamped. Bummer that all of his belongings will be traveling round and round on the luggage belts while he waits in what I read can be a very long line.

    But I would love any tips. Thanks
    · Reply · Share
  • elguapo1elguapo1 441 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 444 Member
    edited August 2016
    @Kajon Try and get a seat as far forward in the trans Atlantic flight as possible and travel light, one carry on if possible, have a pen handy and fill out any customs forms as early as possible rather than in the immigration hall. At immigration there will be lines for UK and EU travelers and ones for other passport holders. At that point it is the luck of the draw, if his flight arrives at the same time as one from Lagos, Delhi and Sydney that's unfortunate and prepared for a wait, if he is lucky he will be through immigration before his luggage hits the carousel, even if the luggage is first it will be just fine. If he is lucky from touchdown through customs 1hr and 15 mins. Well done to your son, he's going to have a great time.
    edited August 2016
    · Reply · Share
  • jupiter98jupiter98 321 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 322 Member
    He might want to enroll in TSA Global Entry program. There is a similar program run by the Brits. Details are on GOES website. I enrolled my daughter in Global Entry and it was pretty painless. Interview took 60 seconds, they just fingerprinted her.
    · Reply · Share
  • KajonKajon 4349 replies130 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
    Thanks guys! I looked into the GOES program back in April and the first avail appt was in November and I passed on it because the agent I spoke with said if you start the process and then cancel your appt, issues will arise if you try later to sign up.

    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6345 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,393 Senior Member
    Registered Traveller is the UK equivalent to Global Entry. If your son has been to the UK 4 or more times in the last w years he can ask for the application (or take one from the display unit) when he goes through immigration. Once you have it you get to go through the UK/EU channels. £70 for the 1st year; £50 to renew.

    pro tip: take as little "stuff" as possible- unless you are paying for vac rental, he will have to move out at the end of every term (and even if you are paying for vac they often have to move to different rooms). UK students don't tend to take as much stuff to college, and you really can get everything you need locally (Argos is handy).
    · Reply · Share
  • jupiter98jupiter98 321 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 322 Member
    In the last 2 years :)
    · Reply · Share
  • KajonKajon 4349 replies130 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
    He is in a graduate program so very lucky that he will not have to vacate his room. Though there is a great deal of wisdom to packing light!

    Thanks for the Argos tip. He still needs to contact the lodge/porters to understand package deliveries. He can figure out his own sheets and blankets when he arrives, but I thought it would be nice of me to order him a memory foam mattress topper and a mattress pad. I recall seeing another store there called Debenhams.....I'm not looking for top quality, but decent stuff like maybe a JC Penney quality.
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6345 replies48 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,393 Senior Member
    Argos is fine & he can pick it up locally. The Debenhams in Oxford has a bedding section, but it is small. Amazon.co.uk is good also. Packages are delivered to the lodge (just need his name/college/address) & the porters put a note in their pidge (letter box)(from pigeon hole) telling them to come collect it. It should be obvious, but the porters are really, really good people to have on your side!

    Fyi, a lot of online options in the UK will only accept a UK credit card.

    @jupiter98, lol yes- last 2 years!
    · Reply · Share
  • KajonKajon 4349 replies130 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
    Again thank you! This is going to be a learning experience for me also :) Son will be at Oriel College. Where are/did your kids attend.

    I will have more questions in the near future regarding how you handled cell phone, bank and credit card. (he will take care of these items, but I have this strong need to understand it all) B-)
    · Reply · Share
  • boomtingboomting 689 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 716 Member
    Debenhams is a good mid-market retailer, and Marks and Spencer is a similar operation. Primark also has some well priced bedding and clothing options - it's very much at the fast fashion end of the market, but if he's only going to be there for a year it doesn't need to be top quality anyway. Unfortunately there's no IKEA within easy distance of Oxford, but they do deliver and it can be a useful supplier of all things household.

    There's some info on which the best student accounts are http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/Student-bank-account although some banks can be a bit funny about international students. If you can, try and get it set up in advance - I've seen long queues form outside of banks very near to universities as international students all try to set up an account simultaneously.

    For his phone (or 'mobile', if we want to use British English!) it's probably easiest to just get his phone unlocked so that he will be able to use it on any network, and then get a GiffGaff sim card - it's a very low cost provider that just has rolling 30 day contracts, so he's not tied in https://www.giffgaff.com/
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity