Arriving in the UK

Most students will arrive in the UK by plane, although some will arrive from Europe by ferry or through the Channel Tunnel.

For further information on what to expect when you arrive in the UK and how to travel around, please check the UKCISA website.

At the airport

At the airport you will have to go through immigration (with a different queue for EEA nationals and non-EEA nationals) and then customs. Please note travellers from outside the EU who are travelling to the UK with the equivalent of €10,000 or more in any currency whether in cash, bankers draft or cheques, will have to declare this at customs (red exit). For more information on entry and customs rules, please check the UKCISA website.

eGate Travellers

Who are eGate exception travellers? These are a small group of travellers who can’t use the eGates as they need to obtain a stamp to do the activities they are coming to the UK to do, this includes:

  • short-term students (for up to six months) or
  • holders of Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Certificate of Sponsorship  (up to 3 months) or
  • those due to undertake a Permitted Paid Engagement
  • family members of an EEA national seeking to join them in the UK
Other travellers coming to the UK who hold an Entry Clearance in advance of arrival or a Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) are not eGate exception travellers and they can use the eGates.

Transport to campus

The Global Student Office organises a taxi transfer service from Edinburgh Airport to the Edinburgh Campus at the start of Welcome Week in September. This will be running on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 of September 2019 between 7.30am and 7.30pm.

The Global Student Office team, in conjunction with other Scottish Universities, operates a Scottish Universities Welcome Desk.  When you arrive at Edinburgh Airport look out for the ‘Scottish Universities Welcome Desks' at UK and International arrivals. Student Ambassadors from Heriot-Watt University will be able to direct you to the pick-up point for taxis to your accommodation – this service is not free and you will have to pay for the taxi yourself.  Where possible we will allocate more than one student to a taxi so you can share the cost.

Key information

International Student Advice