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Arriving in the UK

What to expect when you arrive in the UK

We don't anticipate that you'll have any problems arriving in the UK but the advice below will ensure that your experience coming through the border and travelling on to your accommodation is as smooth as possible.

Important information for all students

To make sure that you can pass through the UK border as quickly as possible remember the following:

  • Always keep your passport and travel documents with you
  • Remove your passport from any cover or sleeve and have it open at the ID page
  • Take off any hat, sunglasses or headphones you are wearing

We also recommend having all the supporting documents you used for the visa application with you just in case you are asked for them. You can find a full list we recommend travelling with here

Click below for other frequently asked questions about arriving in the UK.

The quickest way to cross the border is via the eGates (electronic gates).

To use the eGates you must:

  • Have a biometric symbol on the front of your passport
  • Hold a passport issued by any of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, the USA or any of the countries that make up the EU.

If you choose to use an eGate, you will not receive a border entry stamp in your passport, so you must ensure that you bring alternate evidence when you complete your ID check at University to show that you entered the country during the validity period of your visa, for example a boarding pass, travel ticket, or booking confirmation.

You cannot use the eGates if:

  • You do not have a passport issued by one of the countries listed above
  • You’re under 18 and not travelling with an adult
  • You don’t have a biometric passport or you’re using a national ID card to enter the UK.

If you're unable to use the eGates then you'll need to see a Border Force Official (see below)

If you're not able to use the eGates to enter the UK then you'll need to see a Border Force official.

They'll ask to see your passport and your visa (if you've got one) and they might ask you why you're coming to the UK and what your plans are during your time here.

As noted above, we'd recommend having documents like your CAS, offer letter, accommodation offer, etc to hand just in case they want to see these too.

Problems at the border

Most of our students pass through the border without any problems but on the rare occasion that you do have a problem please contact us.

  • The International Student Support Office on +44 (0) 1784 27 6222 . This number is staffed Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
  • If you cannot reach anyone on this number, call our switchboard (during working hours) on  +44 (0) 1784 434 455
  • Security (outside working hours) on +44 (0) 1784 443 063. Ask to speak to a Duty Warden)

After you've crossed the UK border, you'll need to go through a customs check. You can use the green exit ‘Nothing to declare’ as long as you aren’t bringing in an excess amount of goods or cash. If you’re unsure please check the rules on bringing goods into the UK.

Remember that if you're arriving on 18 & 20 September 2024 that you'll be able to book a free airport pick-up from Heathrow and get transported back to our Egham campus. 


If you're not arriving on one of those dates, then there are multiple options for you to travel to Egham.

Public Transport 

The number 8 bus runs from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Royal Holloway and is approximately a 40min journey. Tickets cost £6.50

Please check the timetable here


Taxis and private cars 

There are a lot taxis available at all terminals at Heathrow airport. Please only use the black taxi's operating from the official taxi pick-up area. 

Please note that the black taxis from Heathrow will cost between £50-£100 for a trip to our campus in Egham. Depending on the time of day and traffic the journey should take approximately 15 minutes. 

It is usually cheaper for you to book a private car in advance from a local company. Below are a range of local taxi companies that provide airport collections



Travelling from London Heathrow 

Please read the full list of options on the page here


Travelling from London Gatwick

Please read the full list of options on the page here

We know that as a new student in the UK, you'll have lots of questions in your first few days and weeks. 

Our International Advice Team is here to support you with any help that you require to make your life and studies in the UK as easy as possible. 

The International Advice Team run a free Airport Pick-Up service for students travelling between Heathrow and our Egham campus. 

They also offer the New to the UK programme that can help you to 

  • Open a bank account
  • Understand your working rights and how to find a job 
  • Register with a local doctor 
  • Complete your University enrolment and collect your Student ID
  • Get to know the campus and surrounding area 
  • Meet other students and socialise 
Book onto our free Airport Pick-up and New to the UK programmes 

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