Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content
Image of a plane

UK Arrival

Preparing for your arrival to the UK can be overwhelming. You may have lots of questions such as ‘how do I arrange my travel? or ‘what paperwork do I need to have at the UK border? Here we provide guidance that will hopefully answer all your questions about your arrival to the UK.

What do I need to bring with me on my journey?

In your hand luggage, you should have original versions of: 

  • Your valid passport, with a visa or UK entry clearance (if applicable) 
  • Your visa permission – in the form of your UK entry clearance or online digital visa status 
  • Visa application decision letter that confirms your BRP collection point 
  • Your travel tickets  
  • Vaccination certificates (if applicable)
  • An X-ray certificate (if applicable)
  • A copy of your unconditional offer letter and CAS certificate
  • Recent financial evidence proving you have accessible funds to pay your tuition fees and support yourself in the UK (i.e., bank statements, proof of financial scholarship, sponsor letter, online banking). This financial evidence should mirror the overall funds that you included in your CAS and visa application process
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Confirmation of your accommodation booking(s)
  • Academic qualification certificates
  • Proof of relationship(s) if you are bringing family members (i.e., marriage certificate, birth certificate, certificate of adoption) 

It is important that you have all required documents in your possession when you arrive at the UK border.  If you are not prepared, you may be interviewed by a border force officer. If you are not able to provide the required evidence, you may be refused entry into the UK. 

As well as original documentation in your hand luggage, we advise you to keep copies of all the above listed documents in your main suitcase and leave additional copies with a family member or relative at home. It would also be useful to have digital copies of your important documents so you can easily access information if required. 

Should I take out travel insurance?

It is essential for you to take out travel insurance to cover you on your journey to the UK. A good policy will cover travel delays and cancellations, medical emergencies, and loss of any belongings whilst in transit. 

As part of your visa application process, you must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) if your visa duration on your CAS is longer than 6 months. Further details about this charge and what it covers can be found on the UK Government website. 

Unless you are coming from a country with a reciprocal agreement, you must pay for any medical care you need if you are staying in the UK for less than six months. In this case you are encouraged to take out health insurance. To discover if your country has a reciprocal agreement, you should visit the NHS website.  Health cover on a reciprocal agreement can be limited, so you should consider taking out private medical insurance as well. 

Money – how much should I bring?

You are encouraged to order British Pounds Sterling currency and travellers’ cheques in advance of travelling to the UK. 

Bring enough money to cover your immediate needs on your arrival in the UK, including customs charges, coach/rail fares, food and clothing, and any emergency expenses.  

You may be expected to pay a substantial deposit for your accommodation before you move in, so you must ensure that you have sufficient funds available if you have not secured long-term accommodation in advance of your arrival to the UK.  

We advise you not to bring large sums of cash for your own safety, avoiding the risk of theft. We recommend travelling with no more than £500-£600 in cash and putting the rest of your funds on a pre-paid credit card or Travellers' cheques. Please note that if you travel with more than £10,000 in cash funds, you must declare it at UK customs. 

Once you have arrived in the UK we would recommend you start the process to set up a UK bank account as soon as possible. This will enable you to transfer any additional funds from your home country to the UK, avoiding any transactional costs that may be incurred if you decide to use your overseas bank card for purchases within the UK. Please see the "Managing Finances" section of this pre-arrival guide for further information.