What is an 'Entry Stamp'?
'Entry stamp' is the name given to a date stamp placed in your passport by Border Control when you arrive in the UK. If you have a temporary travel visa or visa vignette (sticker) inside your passport, the immigration official at the airport will stamp it with the date you entered the UK. This then 'validates' your visa and ensures that Home Office UKVI record the date, location and the type of visa you used to enter the UK.
Example of an entry stamp endorsement on a Tier 4 vignette
Why is it important that I check the 'Entry Stamp' after passing UK border?
You must check that the immigration official endorses your visa with a stamp on arrival as this forms part of your immigration permission to enter the UK (exceptions apply if you entered via e-Gate).
Border officials should not endorse a visa vignette with an entry stamp before the visa is valid, e.g. before the start date of the temporary travel visa or visa vignette. They may instead offer to stamp the page opposite if you are eligible to enter with a different type of leave (for example, a Standard Visitor Visa to allow you to travel in the UK for a few weeks. You will then need to leave the UK and re-enter within the validity of your visa vignette to activate that visa).
If you enter the UK before the start date of your temporary travel/visa vignette and it is not stamped by Border Control (or, if you have entered by e-Gate and are unable to provide evidence of travel which is within the validity of your temporary travel visa/visa vignette), you will be asked to exit and re-enter the UK before you will be permitted to enrol on your course. We therefore advise against attempting to enter the UK before the start date of your study visa.
If you enter the UK before the start of your course using a Standard Visitor Visa, you will need to exit the UK at the end of your visit and re-enter after the start date of your Tier 4 visa before your course of study commences, ensuring that your Tier 4 visa is stamped on entry (or, you are able to provide evidence of travel if you entered via e-Gate).
Example of entry stamp given to non-visa national entering the UK as a short-term student
If you are a non-visa national seeking entry to the UK as a short-term student on arrival the immigrational official will endorse your passport with a short-term student stamp (shown here on the left of the example image above). You should also recieve an entry stamp (shown on the right) which will confirm the date and port of arrival; this is the start date of your six month short-term study visa.
If travelling via Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands (known collectively as the Common Travel Area, or CTA) you will find that your Tier 4 visa will not be stamped on arrival to the UK; instead you will recieve a date stamp on another page in your passport.
Providing the University with a copy of your entry stamp
Students who need immigration permission to study in the UK must provide the University with copies of their passport and visa(s) as part of the online registration (enrolment) process. This includes a copy of the entry stamp. As this is something which you receive on entry to the UK you cannot provide this in advance of your travel, however, you can access the enrolment dashboard after you have arrived and upload your entry stamp before you attend an in person 'right to study' visa check.
If you do not have an entry stamp because you entered the UK via the Common Travel Area (CTA), please upload the date stamp you did receive along with your boarding pass which confirms the date of arrival in the UK.
If you do not have an entry stamp because you entered the UK via e-Gate, please upload evidence of travel such as your travel ticket/booking or boarding pass which confirms the date of arrival in the UK.
If you applied for Tier 4 leave from inside the UK ('Leave to Remain') you will not have a visa vignette or entry stamp inside your passport.
Entering the UK via an e-Gate (Tier 4 students only)
From summer 2019 Tier 4 visa holders who are nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea will be able to enter the UK using the eGate system at 15 major airports. Entering via an e-Gate means that your visa will not be endorsed with an entry stamp as the port is unmanned by Border Force staff.
If you chose to use an e-Gate then you will be required to upload your travel ticket/booking or boarding pass in place of an entry stamp as evidence of your arrival in the UK.