I'm a US citizen and I've already gotten my Tier 4 visa to study in the UK in my passport, however, it looks like the start date on the visa and the letter to present to the Immigration Officer has allowed me entry an extra week on top of the usual month. My school starts on September 24th, but my visa states permission to enter on August 17th. I've read that you are only allowed a month before the beginning of school, but my visa is saying differently!

Should I assume its wrong and enter on the 24th or is it okay for me to enter on the 17th?


  • Note: at least some universities in the UK have a "freshers week" which is not part of the semester but for which new students are expected to be present. I wonder if this is the cause of the discrepancy you are seeing. Jul 24 '18 at 13:19

Your visa is valid from the fixed start date noted on it and remains valid until the indicated end date. So, yes, you can present yourself at the UK border for entry on your Tier 4 visa as early as August 17th.

  • Okay! So there's no chance of the IO, for instance, looking up the start date of my program? My school advisor seems to think there is a risk is coming on the 17th and suggests I fix the date but I don't have time to have my visa re-processed. Jul 24 '18 at 13:36
  • @AriannaCohen you should be fine; you can enter any time on, or after, your visa start date. Since it's more than a month before school starts, just make sure you have all your info in hand (in your carry on, not checked baggage) for accommodations, etc.
    – Giorgio
    Jul 24 '18 at 13:40

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