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Flying to the UK

What to expect when arriving in the UK

Immigration control

If you are aged 16 or under, you may not be allowed to leave immigration until the person meeting you has been found. If you have booked a taxi transfer, make sure you have the information with you.

You should be ready to show all your college and visa application documents to the Border Force Officer is asked.

Use of eGates: If you are a citizen of an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the USA, you will normally be able to use the eGates on arrival. Instead of a visa stamp or vignette, you will be required to show your flight ticket or boarding pass on arrival at the college. You will be allowed to study for up to 6 months.

Should you have any questions regarding the use of eGates or immigration control, please contact our Immigration Compliance Team at

Baggage reclaim

After passport control, follow the arrival signs to the baggage reclaim area and check the information screens to find the correct carousel.


When you reach Customs, you may be interviewed by a Customs Official to ensure you are a genuine student in the UK. They will ask you some basic questions, such as ‘Where is your College?’ and ‘Why do you want to study in the UK?’

You will need to walk down one of three channels at Customs:

Students from European countries should use the Blue Channel

Students from all other countries should use the Green Channel

Students who have anything to declare, use the Red Channel

If you are bringing a bank draft or cheque for College fees of over £8,800 then you must go through the Red Channel and declare it. For this reason, it is easier to pay fees by bank transfer before you come. If you are unsure whether you should use the Red Channel please visit - www.visitbritain. 

Arranged a taxi?

If you arranged for a taxi to meet you, you will find your driver in the Arrivals area as you leave Customs.

The driver holds a board showing their passenger’s name. Look out for your name or the CATS logo.

If you cannot see your name go to Airport Information, ask them to help you find your driver. Wait there until your driver arrives.