Airports and Immigration

On arrival at your selected airport into the UK, you will have to pass through Immigration control and may be interviewed by an Immigration Office at the airport so it is important to factor in this possible delay when making your travel arrangements to the University of Birmingham. You have a choice of the different airports to arrive into the UK but we advise you to fly to Birmingham International airport (BHX)

We strongly advise that students do not travel to the UK via Ireland. The UK and the Republic of Ireland are part of a Common Travel Area. This can cause problems for non-visa nationals who have not applied for entry clearance before travelling, because you will not pass through the correct UK immigration control, meaning you will enter the UK as a tourist and therefore will not have the correct permission to study in the UK.

Airport Collections

The University offers a free airport collection service for International students arriving into Birmingham International (BHX) and London Heathrow (LHR) airports during the main arrivals period in September. Further information and booking details are available on our Welcome website. The Birmingham International Academy provides an airport pick up service from students on the 15, 10, 6 and 4 week courses. Further details will be provided nearer the time on the Birmingham International Academy Website.

If you plan to make your own way to the University, Birmingham International Airport has a great train, coach and taxi service just outside the Airport Arrivals service. Please remember to carry UK pounds in cash with you in your hand luggage to pay for these services.

If you are travelling from other airports in the UK or elsewhere in the UK, there are several ways to get to the University:

Train: The University has its own train station, simply called 'University' (UNI). There are also stations in Selly Oak (SLY) and at Five Ways (FWY) which are near to some student accommodations. Trains run through these stations every 10 minutes during the week, and regularly at weekends. You can plan rail journeys and check times and ticket prices in advance using National Enquiries.

Birmingham New Street (BHM) is two stops away on the cross-city line and is a major national station, with trains running to cities across the UK, such as London and Manchester, as well as Wales and Scotland. If you are travelling by Eurostar, you will need to change at London stations.

Coach: You can take a coach to Birmingham Coach Station, in the Digbeth area of the city centre, and then take a taxi directly to your University accommodation. Coaches to Birmingham Coach Station are operated by National Express.

Driving: The University is well connected by national motorways and the road network, however parking at the University is limited, particularly at University-owned accommodation, and in most cases requires a parking permit. Most students find they do not need a car at the University because of the excellent local transport links in the area.

Parking on Campus

Parking at Student Accommodation

Immigration Control

When you arrive at an airport within the UK, you will pass through immigration control before collecting your luggage. You need to have your immigration documents ready to be checked, as well as documents relating to your studies such as your Offer Letter, and finances. Your face should be clearly visible - remove sunglasses or hats. The Border Force Officer will ask you questions in English, and you should be prepared to answer in English.

If you are arriving in the UK as a Student Visitor, please check that you have been given entry as a Student Visitor and check the entry stamp shows the correct year if your travel falls within the first half of a new year. If there are any problems you must telephone the International Student Team (IST) immediately on +44 (0) 121 414 8464 between the hours of 9.00 am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday to speak to an advisor

Collecting Luggage

After Immigration control you will be able to collect your luggage from the baggage carousels. If any of your luggage is missing you must find a member of staff from the airline and inform them before leaving the carousel area. You will need to complete a lost luggage form. Please do not leave the airport without completing this form and make sure you do not leave any other belongings behind.

Important Information

You must carefully check the rules on what you can bring to the UK before you travel. You will need to go through the area marked as customs and will have to declare certain items:

  • Money over 10,000 Euros, or equivalent in other currencies, in cash, banker’s drafts and cheques (including travellers' cheques)
  • Alcohol, perfume, tobacco and souvenirs above the permitted duty/tax-free allowances
  • Food is restricted and certain products including meat and dairy are not allowed into the UK

You must declare any banned or restricted goods. If you don't, you may face long delays, the goods will be seized and destroyed, and you may be prosecuted


Professional Services