'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 type of visa you used to enter the UK.
Example of an entry stamp endorsement on a Tier 4 vignette
The entry stamp confirms the date and location at which the visa holder entered the UK. It is placed in the passport by a UKVI immigration officer at Border Control.
You must ensure that the immigration official endorses your visa with a stamp on arrival as this forms part of your immigration permission to enter the UK.
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. It is very important that the visa vignette is stamped on entry to the UK in order to 'activate' your leave. If you enter the UK before the start date of your temporary travel/visa vignette and it is not stamped by Border Control 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 visit visa then 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.
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 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 the immigration official does not endorse your Tier 4 visa with a date stamp, nor will your Tier 4 visa be stamped on arrival to the UK; instead you will recieve a stamp like the one shown below, on another page in your passport.
Example of entry stamp from Ireland (part of CTA)
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 recieve along with your 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.