When you apply for a visa, you can specify a start date up to 3 months ahead. Each visa has 'valid from' and 'valid until' dates, and you can enter UK any time between the two. But it's usually in your interest to enter as soon as possible, so that you are covered the maximum length of time your visa allows. This becomes important when you come to apply for another visa or indefinite leave to remain, because if you've entered more than a month later than the start of validity, you will not have lived the required minimum term in UK and may have to ask and pay for an extension before you can go ahead with your original application.
Don't worry!Joppa - your response caused me to look at the visa I was just issued. It shows entry dates 2-1-12 to 2-4-14. My flight to England is planned for this Friday , Jan 13. I stupidly assumed it was valid immediately until I saw your response. If I arrive on Jan 14, will I be denied entry?
Ha ha ha - I knew that! Just forgot in my mad rush to get out of here. Thanks - i was in a panic for a moment there. So glad I have found this site. Thanks againDon't worry!
Visas are dated in a British way, so 2-1-12 means 2nd January 2012 and 2-4-14 is 2nd April 2014, so exactly 27 months, as a spouse visa should be.
I think UKBA should spell out the month in word to avoid confusing our transatlantic friends!