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I've seen some similar posts regarding entering the UK as a visitor then re-entering, but I haven't seen any ones from recent and thought I'd ask since I'm in a situation like it now. I am a US citizen and have been approved for my Tier 4 Student Visa, it's currently in my passport. The start date is August 17th, however I am planning on coming to the UK on August 5th as a TOURIST to drop my luggage into my new home, say hi to some family who are touring, and see my partner before he leaves for work. I have tickets to visit to Berlin a week after my arrival on the 5th, returning on the 17th to start my student visa. I plan to show these tickets to the Immigration officer and use this explanation.

Is it still the case that this is technically OK but just a bit of chance on the part of the IO? What are the chances that I would denied entry? Should I cancel all these plans? Thanks.

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Chances of being denied entry are if the IO thinks you are going to work before your visa starts(you can work part time on your visa).

If you have proof of everything you are doing and your tickets exiting the UK before your visa starts theres no reason for the IO to deny you with everything you've said. Just be honest about everything and you will be fine.

Do remember though if you were denied entry your visa could end up being invalid. There is always a risk but with everything you've said I don't see why an IO would deny you. Enjoy your studies here!

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