I think one detail that needs clarification is the airspace/region to which you're referring.
In the USA, for example, the STAR will definitely be included in your IFR clearance on the ground (since it's fully expected that the pilot/dispatcher will file the appropriate one). That clearance will also contain a clearance limit - almost always the arrival airport. In other words, as soon as you hear "(callsign), cleared to John F. Kennedy International Airport...", you know the last point you were cleared to is the KJFK airport. No further clearance is needed to join the STAR or, if cleared without one, to proceed direct from the last fix to the airport (or join an IAP if the last fix is an IAF and you've lost comms; I forget all of the gory details on that scenario).
Based on your narrative (and the naming scheme of the STAR), I assume you're referring to airspace somewhere in Europe. Apparently things work rather differently over there in this regard, so I'll refrain from commenting since I know very little.