Apply when you arrive in the UK
If you are a non-visa national, or a national of United Arab Emirates, Oman or Qatar with an Electronic Visa Waiver* document, you can apply for immigration permission as a ‘Short-term Student’ from a Border Force Officer when you arrive in the UK. Please also read the important information about the Short-Term Student category here.
You must see a Border Force Officer and have your passport stamped when you arrive in the UK. You cannot receive Short-term Student permission if you pass through the E-gates, because you would not receive a stamp in your passport in this case.
What are the advantages?
- It is free.
- You do not need to make an immigration application before you travel.
How do I apply?
As a non-visa national, when you travel to the UK you can apply for short-term student immigration permission from a Border Force Officer when you arrive at the airport, seaport or international rail terminal. You may be asked to show evidence, which we have listed in the 'Supporting documents' section of this guide, so you must carry your documents in your hand luggage. Make sure that the Border Force Officer knows that you are coming to the UK for studies.
If the Border Force Officer is satisfied that you meet the requirements, they will stamp your passport with a date stamp and also a stamp stating that you have been granted “leave to enter as a short-term student for six months” (see the example).
It is important that you make sure that your passport is stamped as in the example. Some students incorrectly get given leave to enter the UK in the category of Visitor (Standard). This will automatically happen to students who are applying for immigration permission on arrival and who mistakenly use the e-gates to enter the UK as you will not meet with a Border Force Officer. If you see that the Border Force Officer has given you the wrong stamp it is important to try and sort the matter out immediately, as it is much harder to correct it later on. Remind the Border Force Officer that you are coming to the UK to study, refer them again to your evidence (see list below), and request that they grant you leave to enter the UK as a Short-term student. If you enter the UK via the e-gates, if you immediately realise your mistake you can try and find an immigration official at the airport and ask to be entered instead as a Short-term student, however this may not be possible.
What happens if I enter as a Standard Visitor by mistake?
If you are on a course of six months or less and you mistakenly enter the UK as a Standard Visitor, you can enrol at Queen Mary. However, the Immigration Rules only allow study for up to 30 days with Standard Visitor permission. You will need to leave the Common Travel Area within 30 days and re-enter the UK with Short-term student immigration permission. The 30 day requirement counts days when Queen Mary is open i.e. not weekends or Bank Holiday days.
You must provide the Queen Mary Immigration Compliance Team (email@example.com) with evidence that you have done this within 30 days of enrolling or you will be de-registered.
You can show the Border Force Officer the following poster to Request for a visa stamp if you have entered through the eGates [PDF 155KB]
Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW)
If you hold a passport issued by the United Arab Emirates, Oman, or Qatar, you can apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver document before travelling to the UK.
You can only use the EVW scheme if you are applying for Short-Term Student immigration permission. If you need to apply for Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, you will need to make an immigration application before travelling to the UK.
If you are a national of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, or Qatar, you are a visa national and you would normally need to apply for immigration permission before travelling. The Electronic Visa Waiver document allows you to apply for immigration permission when you arrive in the UK.
You need to apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver at least 48 hours before travelling. You can apply online.
There is no fee for an Electronic Visa Waiver document.
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.