All Students passing UK border control
As a student looking forward to beginning your studies in the UK this year you will now start preparing for your journey. As part of your preparation we want to make sure you have everything you need to get through the UK border as securely and quickly as possible. The following advice explains some of things you can do to help with this:
- Make a note of ISS address including full name, address and a phone number which will be required when you complete your landing card.
- Ensure you complete your landing card before you meet the Border Force officer in the UK.
- If you carry your passport in a protective wallet, please take it out before you present it to a Border Force officer.
- Never give false or misleading information (including forged or counterfeit documents) to a Border Force officer.
- Have your university Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter or letter from the University confirming your return to studies and medical card (if you have one) in your hand luggage that you carry with you on to the aircraft. If you don’t have a CAS letter, please bring thorough details of your course of study.
- There are restrictions on food products that you can bring to the UK from outside the European Union, even for personal use. Restrictions apply to products made from meat, dairy, fish, eggs and honey, as well as some fruit, vegetables and plants (e.g. bulbs, seeds, cut flowers and tree bark).
- There are also restrictions on the amount of goods such as tobacco, alcohol and gifts you can bring in the UK. If you exceed your allowances all of your goods can be taken away from you.
- Never bring in counterfeit goods, illegal drugs, firearms (including realistic imitations), offensive weapons (including knives) or indecent or obscene material.
- Make sure you are familiar with the conditions of your visa including the number of hours you are allowed to work.
- You must declare any sums of cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in another currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the European Union.
There will be dedicated student lanes at some of our airports so keep a look out for these when you arrive.
Students whose course starts at the beginning of term
Students whose course starts at the beginning of term are expected to go to the International Welcome and Orientation programme which is compulsory. You can find out more about the Welcome and Orientation programme and what happens when you arrive here.
Research students whose course starts during term time
There will be lots to do when you arrive in Belfast, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start! Here are ten key things to do when you arrive. Click on the link to find out more.
1.Go to your accommodation
You should ensure to arrange accommodation, even if it is temporary, before you travel. If you are a research student who is starting their course outside of the beginning of term, you may be able to arrange temporary or long term accommodation in Queen's Accommodation or other University residences. However, this is not guaranteed and you should contact the accommodation team on firstname.lastname@example.org before you arrive to try to arrange this. You can also arrange temporary accommodation in the private sector, such as a hotel or hostel.
Click here for more information about finding accommodation.
You must ensure that you do not arrive in Belfast without having somewhere to stay.
2. Contact your family
You will, of course, want contact your family as soon as possible after you arrive to let them know that you have reached Belfast safely. There are lots of ways you can do this:
Telephone: There are payphones located outside the Students' Union, on the ground floor of the International and Postgraduate Student Centre, and in Elms BT9. You can buy an international calling card in the shop in the Students' Union.
Skype: A Skype service is available in both the International and Postgraduate Student Centre and Elms BT9.
Email and social networking: You can access the computers in the International and Postgraduate Centre and Elms BT9 before you enrol on your course. You will need log-in and password details. You should receive these before you arrive, but in the event that you do not, you can get temporary details. For more information about getting temporary internet access, please contact International Student Support.
3. Get something to eat!
See our Shopping section for more information.
The Postgraduate and International Student Support teams will be expecting you when you arrive. Come in to see us and we will help you figure out what you need to do next. A member of the team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and tell you all about the University support services which are available to you.
5. Start your enrolment process
Your first port of call at the University should be the International and Postgraduate Student Centre. Both the Postgraduate and the International Student Support teams are here, and we will be able to help you with your first few days at Queen's. If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national, you will not be allowed to enrol on your course until the International Student Support Officers have performed a right to study check. We will do this when you come to the International and Postgraduate Student Centre.
You will also meet the staff in your School and your supervisor. These staff members are very important and you should get to know them as soon as possible.
You will be sent full information about the enrolment procedure before you arrive.
Once you have your student card you will be able to visit the Library. It is important that you familiarise yourself with it as you will use it a lot during your studies. The staff in the Library will be able to help you find your way around.
A tour of the University is a must! During the tour you will find out where the most important buildings are, like your School, the Student Guidance Centre and the Library. Of course, you will already know where the International and Postgraduate Student Centre is!
You will not be able to open a bank account until after you have enrolled. Find out more information about opening a bank account here. If you are receiving sponsorship from Queen's you will have to provide your bank details to the Postgraduate Awards team before you can receive your payments.
Take some time out to get to know Belfast. You will be spending lots of time here over the next while, so you should find out as much as you can about where to go and what to do. See the Discover Northern Ireland website for information and suggestions.
It will be important for you to make friends during your time here, and the best way to do this is go to student events around the University. You can find out more about this here.