My daughter is visiting the UK from the US for a semester study-abroad program. Because it is less than 6 months, she doesn't need a Tier 4 visa. She arrived a few weeks before the program started in order to do some sight-seeing, staying with friends. She didn't notice right away, but the IO stamped her passport with a visitor stamp, rather than a short-term study stamp, even though she gave him the letter from the school. The school requires her to have the short-term study stamp. They have recommended that she either try to speak to an IO at Heathrow to get the correct stamp, or leave an re-enter the country.

If she were to visit Heathrow, how would she go about trying to contact an IO, given that they are stationed at the arrivals gate. Or, is there another way to go about this that doesn't involve leaving the country?


1 Answer 1


Call the Border Force (phone numbers to each Heathrow terminal at the bottom here) and explain the situation in perfect detail, including that the school won't enrol her without the proper entry stamp.

If they aren't helpful, ask for a chief officer.

You should be told what to do. Please let us know what happens by writing an answer of your own

  • 8
    Thanks for linking that list, it was super helpful! She called one of the Heathrow numbers, and they told her that since she has been in the country for a couple of weeks, that she needs to go to the premium service center in Croydon. It looks like that service is going to cost her over £700 for an appointment, so it may be cheaper for her to leave and re-enter the country.
    – Rick Sharp
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 16:56
  • 86
    @RickSharp Just called terminal 5 - a youngish officer said that's utter rubbish. He said they could arrange for her to meet up with an officer and have it corrected if calling in advance. Have her call terminal 5 and explain again (even if she wasn't admitted at terminal 5, the guy I spoke to was helpful)
    – Crazydre
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 17:20
  • 2
    @RickSharp Otherwise, yes, she should hop by bus or Train to France and re-enter
    – Crazydre
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 17:21
  • 34
    In handling bureaucratic organisations, sometimes, if that particular person isn't helpful, I just go away (or hang up) and come back again, and speak to a different staff. People are different. Some are more helpful than others.
    – Stewart
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 6:37
  • 13
    @Coke kudos for actually calling to help OP Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 7:58

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