I've already submitted my UK visa application, but have yet to receive the visa.

I need to book a flight a day or two before the 'intended date of arrival' that I've entered in my application.

My question is, if and when I get the visa, will the validity be from the date it was issued, or from the date of intended date of arrival I entered on my application.

In case it's from the intended date, then is it possible for me to arrive a day or two before that day, or will it create problems with the airport security?

  • 2
    The validity is usually from the date of issues. On your second question, if you try to travel before your visa start date, you simply will not be allowed to get onto the plane in your home country.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 6:55
  • Well if it is from the date of issue, then I won't have a problem going a few days before my intended date of arrival, since the visa would've already been validated.
    – Urban
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 6:58
  • Correct, but don't buy your tickets before you get the visa.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 7:59
  • As a matter of fact, every British visa I've had had as the validity start date the beginning of the calendar month on which I'd planned to travel. For example, if I planned to go on April 30th, its validity started on April 1st.
    – ach
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 13:32
  • Thanks @AndreyChernyakhovskiy I hope that's true in my case as well.
    – Urban
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


When your visa is issued, it will have a fixed start date. They will try to align the start date to the travel dates you gave in your application. This does not always happen, and if the start date they give is wrong for you then you can return your passport and request another start date.

For planning purposes: Visas can be forward dated up to 90 days from the application date. The application date is the date they collected the fee.

For your other question about arriving in the UK prior to your visa's start date... Hopefully the airline would prevent you from boarding, but in the event that you arrive in the UK outside of your visa dates, you would expect serious problems for abuse, up to and including removal. The situation is explicitly covered in Paragraph 30C of the Immigration Rules.

An Immigration Officer may cancel an entry clearance which is capable of having effect as leave to enter if the holder arrives in the United Kingdom before the day on which the entry clearance becomes effective or if the holder seeks to enter the United Kingdom for a purpose other than the purpose specified in the entry clearance.

  • 1
    Just to follow up, my visa date started about a couple of weeks after I applied, which is about a month before my intended date of arrival.
    – Urban
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 3:12

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