A biometric residence permit (BRP) is an immigration document (visa) issued onto an ID card.
You will be issued a BRP if you:
- apply to come to the UK for longer than six months
- extend your visa within the UK
- transfer your visa from an old passport
You don't have to apply separately for a BRP. You'll get one automatically if your visa application is successful, or you're replacing an older document.
Find out more about BRPs on the UK government website.
When your student visa is issued overseas
If you applied for your visa from overseas, you will be given a vignette visa (sticker) in your passport. Where your visit to the UK is less than 6 months, this vignette will be valid for your whole stay in the UK and you won't be issued with a BRP.
If your visa is for longer than six months, then the vignette should only be valid for a shorter period of either 30 or 90 days, depending on when you applied.
The vignette will start up to one month before your course start date, or seven days before your intended date of travel as specified in your application, whichever is later. If you do not travel to the UK during the validity period of the vignette, then you will need to apply for a new one before you travel. You will have to pay a fee and provide your biometric information again, but you will not need to make a full new visa application.
You will also receive a visa decision letter which you should show to the border officer on arrival to the UK, along with your passport and vignette.
The visa application form will give you a choice of BRP collection points. To ensure delivery of your BRP to the University (rather than a Post Office), you should enter our Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code when prompted. Our ACL code is: 2HE427
Collecting your BRP
Your BRP colletion location will be stated on either your visa decision letter or in your visa application form itself (which you can retrieve by logging in to your visa application account). If your collection location is a Post Office, you will need to collect it there.
If your collection location is the University, you need to book an appointment to collect it from Cherry Tree Lodge, University Park Campus. If you have dependant family members whose BRPs have been delivered to Cherry Tree Lodge, you can collect them at the same time, or your can book an appointment just for your dependant(s), if you already have your BRP.
Book an appointment to collect your BRP
Extending your visa in the UK
Students extending their visa in the UK will receive their visa printed onto a BRP.
Once your visa application has been decided, your BRP will be delivered to the location you stated as your postal address on your visa application form, usually within 7 to 10 days. If you gave the Visa and Immigration team's address (Cherry Tree Lodge) as your postal address, you can book an appointment to collect it via the link above (please allow adequate time for the BRP to have been delivered).
Do you need to register with the police or update the police?
People of certain nationalities who are in the UK for more than six months are required to register with police.
The requirement to register with the police will not be stated on the BRP card itself. Take extra care to check your entry vignette and/or your visa decision letter for this requirement.
To register or update your existing details with Nottinghamshire Police you will need to book an appointment and prepare some documents in advance. See Your Responsibilities for instructions.
Checking your BRP
It is essential to carefully check that the information on your BRP is accurate and promptly report any errors via the Home Office website, within 10 days of receiving it.
- Check your visa end date, which should include the full duration of your course plus a 'wrap-up period'. See our visa duration page for guidance on how long this should be. Make a note of your visa expiry date – if you need to apply for a new visa you will need to do this before your current visa expires.
- Check the biographical details (such as name, date of birth and nationality) are correct.
- Check the sponsor licence number is correct - the University of Nottingham sponsor licence number is RFDX42DB2.
- Check how many hours you are allowed to work in the UK during term-time, which should be 20 hours per week, or 10 hours per week for students studying courses below degree level.
You also need to ensure that you understand and abide by the conditions of your visa (such as registering with the police, if applicable) as this is your responsibility.
If you report BRP errors and are issued with a new corrected BRP, you must take the new BRP card to any Student Service Centre so that we may take a scan for our records.
Keeping your BRP safe and when to carry it
Your BRP is a very important document, proving your rights to stay, study and work in the UK, so keep it in a safe place. Take a photograph of the front and back of your BRP for your reference.
You do not need to carry your BRP in your purse or wallet, and we strongly recommend keeping both your BRP and passport in your room instead, to avoid losing them. If you lose your BRP, you will need to apply and pay for a new one, which is costly and can take a long time. Each year we have students whose vacation time travel plans are impacted by having lost their BRP.
Only carry your BRP when you need to show it as proof of your immigration status. This includes:
You will be more likely to lose your BRP if you frequently carry it with you to use as proof of your age/ID. Consider applying for an alternative proof of age evidence so that you are not tempted to carry your passport and BRP around with you. Once such scheme is the Citizen Card, which is endorsed by the Home Office.*
*We encourage you to do your own research about proof of age cards and the Visa and Immigration team cannot endorse or recommend a particular card or help with the application process.
Lost, stolen or damaged BRPs
If your BRP is lost, stolen or damaged, it must be reported to the Home Office. Once reported, you must apply for a replacement BRP. Failure to apply for a replacement BRP within the specified Home Office time limit may result in a fine of up to £1,000 and your permission to stay in the UK may be cancelled.
If your BRP was stolen you should also report this to the police.
When you receive a replacement BRP, you must take it to any Student Service Centre so that we can take a scan for the University's records.