Travel and Immigration
If you are from one of the EC (European Community) countries you do not need a VISA to enter the United Kingdom, but you should have a valid passport or Identity Card of your country. If you are not from an EC country you will need a valid passport and you may need a VISA to enter the United Kingdom. Please check with your local British Embassy or Consulate. If you require a VISA, RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. will supply all necessary documents required to, obtain the appropriate VISA.
You must apply for a student VISA and when the VISA is issued you should check that it is marked D: STUDENT. This is important, as with such a VISA you will be able to extend it in the UK/Ireland should it expire before you have completed your studies. A VISA enables you only to enter the country. If you are issued with a 6-month British VISA this means that you may enter the UK at any time during these 6 months. Permission to remain in the United Kingdom is given to you by the Immigration Officer at Passport Control at the port of entry.
Before your arrival in the United Kingdom, RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. will provide you with a letter from your school:
- The purpose of your visit.
- The school you will attend, with its full address.
- The number of years or terms you intend to study in the UK/Ireland.
- Payment of fees.
- Legal guardianship arrangements.
This letter must be produced at the port of entry, along with other documents that you may require.
- Invitation from the school.
- Bank statement or copy of payment of fees.
- Landing card that you must fill out on the plane or before reaching Passport Control at port of entry.
At Passport Control At Port Of Entry To The United Kingdom
At Passport Control at port of entry an Immigration Officer will question you. Your passport will be stamped with permission to enter (in the United Kingdom: “leave to enter”, “permission to remain”) if the officer is satisfied that your VISA and above mentioned documents are in order. You may leave and return to the United Kingdom without a further VISA if:
- The entry stamp (“leave to enter”) is valid for more than 6 months (see the expiry date written at the bottom of the stamp).
- You are returning for the same purpose (student).
- You return on or before the expiry date written at the bottom of the stamp.
You may not leave and return to the UK without a new VISA if you are given an entry stamp for exactly 6 months or less. You may be required to take a routine medical examination if you intend to remain in the United Kingdom for more that 6 months. This will happen at the airport and may take up to an hour. You should allow time for this in your travel arrangements. RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator who will meet you at the Airport will be aware of this and will be waiting for you to complete all the necessary requirements to enter the United Kingdom.
It is important that if you are to stay in the United Kingdom for longer than 6 months that you tell the doctor and the Immigration Officer will place a stamp in your passport if you need to do this.
If you need to register with the police, your Educational Guardian Area Co-ordinator or the school will help you with this (some students from certain countries are required to do this under law).
The Immigration Officer may refuse you entry to the United Kingdom (even if you have a valid VISA). Normally this will only happen if you produce false documents or if your documents contradict what you tell the Immigration Officer when interviewed. Therefore its very important to answer all questions clearly, and if you are having problems answering questions ask The Immigration Officer to call your Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator directly.
Baggage Claim And Customs Procedures
Once you have successfully passed through Passport Control, follow the signs for “Baggage Claim” and collect your luggage in accordance with your numbered luggage stickers in your ticket. If your luggage does not appear, go to the desk marked “Lost Baggage” and follow instructions given to you by the airport staff.
Once you have collected your luggage go to the Customs area. If you have nothing to declare, i.e. no weapons, narcotics or medication containing narcotics, go through the green channel. In the green channel the Customs Officer may, at his/her discretion, stop you and check your baggage. If you are in any doubt about what you are carrying you should go through the red channel. You do not have to fill out any Customs declaration forms when entering the United Kingdom.
Children Under 16 Normally Travel, As “Unaccompanied Minor”
As you are young person you will be travelling as an “Unaccompanied Minor” when booking your luggage at the Airport in your home country you should inform the Airline that you wish to be escorted by an Airline Staff member through to the Arrivals Hall in the United Kingdom. The Airport Staff will give instructions to you, it is very important you follow all instructions given. They (the airport staff) will be able to assist in case of any difficulties in transferring flights, immigration, lost luggage and any other issues along the way.
When you have passed through the Customs Hall into the main Arrivals Hall, look out for the RUYANG Educational Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator who will be carrying a sign. That will have our name on it in big letters and underneath will have your name in big blue writing. If you do not see the RUYANG Educational Guardian Area Co-ordinator, go to the Information Desk and say:
- Please put out a call for the RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. Representative meeting you (your name).
- After placing the call please remain and wait by the big YELLOW and BLACK sign Hanging from the ceiling marked MEETING POINT (IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT MOVE AWAY).
- If no Representative appears after half an hour (wait this long in case of traffic delays), then telephone the RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. on the following numbers:
Claire (Chinese service): +44(0)783 485 1475
It is very unlikely that this will ever happen, but we have full procedures in place to cover all situations. If you are detained at Passport Control or in the Customs Hall, it will be useful to explain that there is a RUYANG Educational Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator meeting you in the arrivals Hall as this may help you speed things up.
Departure Documents Returning Home
Before your departure from school check that you have your valid passport and that your tickets are confirmed. RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Department normally keep all Passports and Travel Documents for all students as to have a system in place for the security and safety of such important documents. In some cases schools prefer to take responsibility for your Passport and it is normally kept at school by your Housemaster or Housemistress.
In case of unplanned departure at short notice, parents must contact RUYANG’s Educational Guardian Service Department immediately. In the event that the school demands to retain your child’s passport, it is important to let RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Department know where it is so that we can make sure your child’s passport is available. It may be at the Home Office if a VISA extension is being processed, or at the local police station if police registration was required.
Parents must inform RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Department in writing of the dates for which they want your child’s return tickets to be confirmed. This is necessary in the case of both fixed date and open tickets.
Parents must inform RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Department in writing of any changes to previous travel plans so that we can confirm new dates, subject to availability. In the case of changes at short notice, RUYANG’s Educational Guardian Service Department cannot guarantee confirmation of tickets for new dates, especially if notice is given less than 48 hours before departure. Parents must contact RUYANG’s Educational Guardian Service Department to find out if tickets have been confirmed.
If you want to return to the United Kingdom you must check with RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Department that you have permission to enter the United Kingdom next time without a new VISA. Under the British Immigration Rules this is the case when your “leave to enter” or “leave to remain” is valid for more than 6 months from the date of issue. If your departure is unplanned and at short notice, and your “leave to enter” or “leave to remain” is valid for less than 6 months, RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. cannot guarantee that we can extend this before your departure. If we cannot extend your VISA here in the United Kingdom you will need to get a new VISA in your own country before you return to the United Kingdom.
If you the student or parent have booked a departure transfer with RUYANG’s Educational Guardian Service Department, we will confirm to you the student either at school or at your RUYANG Host Family the date and time you will be collected. Either your Host Parent or a RUYANG driver will come to your school to collect you and your luggage, so make sure you have not forgotten any of your travel documents or possessions.
If your driver does not appear, within 30 minutes of the advised pick-up time, immediately telephone RUYANG’s Educational Guardian Service Department at the RUYANG office in Leicester on the following numbers:
Monday to Friday 08.00 to 21.30
Office: +44(0)116 254 6198
All Other Times 24 Hours A Day
Claire (Chinese service): +44(0)783 485 1475
The nominated driver, whether a RUYANG Host Parent or RUYANG Educational Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator, will take you to your port of departure and will help you to check in. When checking in for flights, you must produce your passport and tickets at the check-in desk of the appropriate airline and hand over your luggage. At the check-in desk you will be asked questions about your luggage. This is for security reasons, so please answer truthfully. Your luggage will be X-rayed, so just follow all the instructions given clearly and everything will be just fine. Currently in all airports in the United Kingdom, you must place all lipsticks, toothpaste shampoo, conditioners, deodorants and perfume in a clear plastic Bag. This bag must be re-sealable and measure no larger than 20cm x 20cm all containers in this bag must be no larger than 100ml in size.
You may take hand luggage onto the plane with you, and this must not exceed the size and weight stated on your ticket. United Kingdom airports are especially strict about this and if your hand luggage exceeds these limits it will not be allowed on the plane, but must be checked in with your other luggage.
If all the luggage that you check in weighs more than the allowance on your ticket, you will be asked to pay an excess baggage fee in accordance with the current tariffs, or you may have to leave some items behind with your RUYANG Host Parent or the RUYANG Educational Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator who will then take the extra items back with them for you to collect on your return to the United Kingdom. In the event that you do not return to the United Kingdom all items left shall be forward to your overseas residence at a later date.
Once your luggage has been checked in you will be given your boarding card with your flight details and seat number on it. If you have to pay an excess baggage fee you will be given your boarding card at the counter where you pay the fee.
After you have checked in you should go straight to the departures lounge and international duty free shopping area, where you can walk around shop and eat to your hearts content. It is Important to remember to keep an eye on the over head displays to locate your flight details and the exact Departure Gate.
IMPORTANT: You should always plan to arrive at the departure gate early so take into consideration the following:
- Do I need to go through any more security checks?
- How long will it take me to walk to the gate?
- Is it busy around me?
- Always Keep your Ticket and Passport together where you can keep them safe and easy to grab if asked by security.
All these things are simple things to remember and to consider when travelling. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll always be on time and never miss a flight.
If You Are Travelling As An “Unaccompanied Minor”
The RUYANG Host Parent or the RUYANG Educational Guardian service Area Co-ordinator will do all the previous things with you. Then a member of the airline staff will come and collect you and assist you through all the security aspects of your travel, will accompany you to your flight, and ensure you get on your flight. Then when you arrive in your home country they will make sure you get all the way through the airport to your pick up point in the Arrivals Hall in your home airport.
Security And Passport Control
Your RUYANG Host Parent or the Educational Guardian Service Area Co-ordinator will not be able to accompany you through the security checkpoints and passport control. At the entrance to the security area you must show your passport and boarding card. In the security area you may be asked to open your hand baggage for inspection.
At passport control no embarkation cards are issued, and your passport will not always be examined. If however you are asked to show your passport you must do so. Unlike many countries in the world when you depart a country they stamp your passport to say you have left. You will not receive a stamp in your passport when you leave the United Kingdom so don’t worry about this.
In the departure lounge there are TV screens showing the number of the departure gate for each flight. The gate number normally appears 40 minutes before the flight leaves. You should wait in the departure lounge until you see the gate number for your flight on the screen. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, information about this will appear on the screen. If your flight is cancelled go to the desk of the airline in the departure lounge. When your gate number appears on the screen go straight to the gate where you will be asked to produce your passport and boarding card. From the gate area you will proceed to the plane.
All applications, amendments, requests, cancellations, curtailments must be made in writing to RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Department by the parents or by the local RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. representative in the parents’ country.
Booking And Cancellation Of Guardian Family
In order to allocate a RUYANG Host Family, RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Department requires a minimum of 14 days’ notice in writing. If a child will not be staying with their appointed RUYANG Host Family for any pre-arranged period, RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Department must receive notification in writing at least 14 days before the start of this period. If notification is received less than 14 days before the period, there will be no refund of the daily charge for accommodation for the pre-arranged accommodation period with the designated RUYANG Host Family.
Booking And Cancellation Of Transfers
Airport transfers and individual transfers to or from the RUYANG Host Family must be booked at least 24 hours before the requested transfer. Any cancellation of a previously arranged airport transfer or transfer to or from the RUYANG Host Family must be made at least 14 days before the requested transfer, in writing, to RUYANG’S Educational Guardian Service Department, otherwise the cost of the transfer will not be refunded.
The extension of a child’s VISA can take up to 12 weeks (as per the Home Office guidelines). Thus, RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. cannot guarantee to obtain a VISA extension at short notice, due to urgent requirements by the parents. If RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. is unable to obtain an extension, parents must apply to the British Embassy in their country for a new VISA. The British Home Office will not accept applications for the extension of a VISA more than 6 weeks before the “leave to enter/remain” is due to expire.
Children who leave the United Kingdom to return to their country more than 6 weeks before the expiry of the “leave to enter/remain”, and who are planning to come back to the United Kingdom after their “leave to enter/remain” has expired, will need to apply for a new VISA in their home country.
Booking And Cancellation Of Hotel Accommodation
RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. must receive any requests for hotel reservations, in writing, as early as possible and no later than 24 hours before the proposed time of arrival. The later a request is received the less choice of hotel there will be, and it will not be possible to guarantee a reservation in any particular hotel.
The cancellation of any hotel reservation will be subject to each hotel’s policy. In general most hotels require 72 hours’ notice of cancellation, otherwise the hotels’ cancellation charge applies. All cancellations must be received by RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. in writing.
Booking And Cancellation Of Air Tickets
RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. must receive any requests for the purchase of air tickets as early as possible and no later than 2 days before the proposed date of travel. The later the request is received the less possibility there will be to confirm particular tariffs, flights, airlines or dates.
The cancellation of any flight will be subject to the airline’s policy and fare structure. Some fare structures will not allow refunds of any canceled tickets. Where the parents give sufficient notice, RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. will advise the parents of the cost and conditions of the reserved ticket. Parents must confirm their agreement of these arrangements. Where insufficient notice is given, it will not be possible to notify parents of the conditions of the reserved ticket and parents must abide by RUYANG International Guardian Service & Educational Consultancy Ltd. decision.