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Arriving in the UK

Whichever airport you come into, your first stop will be Passport Control. You will need to show the Immigration Officer:

  • your passport
  • entry clearance papers
  • letter of invitation from Human Resources
  • evidence of financial support
  • evidence of recent medical examination or international vaccination certificate - if required
  • Academic Visitors will require proof of their present job and their financial support
  • not all of this information may be required by EEA nationals 

Remember to keep these documents in your hand luggage, not in your suitcase, as you will not be allowed to collect your luggage until after you have passed through passport control.

Have as much original documentation as possible to support your entry. If possible arrive during weekday office hours, 9.00am - 5.00pm, so that you can telephone the University in case of difficulties.

If you are in the UK on a visa, you will be required to return home on completion of your authorised period of stay. Do not tell or imply to the Immigration Officer that you would like to stay in the UK longer than the period agreed in your contract of employment or visa.

When the Immigration Officer has checked your documents, a signed stamp will be placed in your passport stating the length of time you can stay in Britain. If this period is insufficient, contact Human Resources and arrange for an extension request to be lodged to cover the balance of the stay.

You should NOT enter Britain as a tourist visitor since you cannot change your visitor's stamp to a different status without leaving the country.

If you experience problems at immigration control, contact:

  • Human Resources at the University  on 0161 275 2044
  • Immigration Advisory (IAS) in London on 020 3411 1966
  • Immigration Advisory (IAS) in Manchester 0161 826 3758

If you are detained you have the right to (free) legal advice and/or medical assistance. You can also ask to contact your Embassy/High Commission in London.


You will either have to pass through the green passage - which means you have nothing to declare, or the red passage - which means you have goods to declare. If you are carrying more than the permitted duty or tax free allowance, or any prohibited goods, you must go through the red passage and declare those goods.

You will usually be allowed to import free of charge some of your personal belongings provided they are for your own use and that you will take them out of Britain when you leave.

Under current rules you may not import more than one kind of each of the following articles: one radio, one tape-recorder, one camera etc. Items such as these must be declared to the Customs Officer who may enter them in your passport.

Extra articles may be charged at the appropriate rate of duty plus VAT (Value Added Tax currently 17.5%). It is advisable to check whether any changes have occurred if you intend to take advantage of these rules.

If you are unsure about what you can or cannot bring into the UK, you should check with the British Council, your local British Embassy or High Commission before you begin your journey.