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After Arriving in the UK

Welcome to the UK! Here’s what you need to know for your arrival at the airport.

Immigration Control

Once you arrive at the airport in London, you will first pass through immigration control. There will be two queues: one for European Economic Area and Swiss nationals, and one for other Internationals. When it is your turn, a Border Force Officer will look at your passport and check your Visa/Entry Clearance. We advise that you carry the following documents in paper form in case the Border Force Officer asks to see them:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid visa or entry certificate
  • Proof of residency
  • Evidence of funding; personal or family resources, confirmation or sponsorship
  • The letter from ICP confirming your place of study as a full-time student
  • Recent medical report (including x-ray results if this applies to you)
  • You may be asked for additional information regarding your proposed studies in the UK

Immigration Procedures

Immigration procedures at British airports can be stringent and may result in a considerable delay at the end of your flight, especially during peak traffic periods (at the start of term and at UK holiday periods). For information on what goods you may bring into the UK, please check the government website.

Baggage Collection

Once you have passed through immigration, you will go to the baggage claim area. Check the screens for your flight number and the name of the place your flight departed from. When you have found the right carousel for your flight, wait for your baggage to appear. If you have a lot of baggage, you may wish to grab a trolley to help you carry it out.


After collecting your baggage, you will need to pass through customs. The exit you need to pass through here depends on whether you have anything to declare or not.

  • The green channel if you have nothing to declare. (Even if you pass through the green channel, a Customs Officer can ask you to open your baggage for checking. You really must only use this channel if you have nothing to declare.)
  • The blue channel if you have arrived from an airport within the European Union (EU) where you have already cleared all your baggage through Customs Control
  • The red channel if you have goods to declare

From your point of entry into the UK, you will need to travel to Portsmouth.

How to Find Us

If you arrive in Portsmouth during ICP opening times, you can come directly to the College. Here we can help with your registration and accommodation check-in. We advise arriving in Portsmouth in the morning; this will make the transition from your flight to moving in to your new accommodation as smooth as possible!

If you arrive in Portsmouth outside of college opening hours, make sure you have arranged an out of hours check-in with your accommodation provider. If this isn’t possible, you must arrange to be taken to a local hotel for the evening, ready to come to ICP the next day.

For more information, read our Travelling to Portsmouth guide.

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