Important information

Your BRP card is your visa and proof of your right to be in the UK as a student. It is a very important document. You must look after it and keep it in a safe place. You do not need to carry your BRP card with you all the time.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will not receive a BRP to evidence their Student visa and will receive electronic notification of UKVI’s decision instead. They will be able to check their immigration status and its conditions at any time using the ‘view and prove’ service on the GOV.UK portal. This function will also allow them to prove their immigration status to the University and employers. 

Are there any mistakes on your BRP?

There is a 14 day time window to correct any errors (if you applied for your visa in the UK) so please check it carefully.

If you have general questions about BRPs please see our website, and read the Student visa essential information.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card

What if I have lost my BRP card?

If you have lost your BRP card inside or outside the UK, please see Lost Biometric Residence Permit card for the list of actions you must take.

  • If you travel outside the UK you must carry your BRP card and passport
  • BRP cards are only issued to those studying in the UK for more than 6 months
  • To travel to the UK you need a vignette. Then, once you are in the UK you can collect your BRP card. You will not get a vignette or a BRP if you are a EU, EEA or Swiss national: instead you will receive your visa as fully digital status, which will allow you to travel with just your passport

Vignette (visa sticker)

Unless you have received your Student visa as digital status, you will get an entry vignette. If you have applied for a Student visa outside the UK and you will be coming to study for more than 6 months, unless you are a EU, EEA or Swiss national, the UKVI will issue you with a vignette that will allow you to enter the UK. You must travel to the UK no earlier than your digital status or vignette start in order to activate your Student visa and be able to register. Student visa entry vignette will be valid for travel into the UK for 90 days and you must travel within that period and before the vignette expires. 

A vignette is a sticker in your passport, issued by the UKVI. It is proof of your permission to enter the UK and will allow you to travel to the UK. The start date of your Student permission would depend on the intended date of travel as specified on the visa application form, but earliest date your Student visa can be valid from is one month before the CAS start date. Once you have arrived in the UK on your vignette, you will be able to collect your Biometric Residence Permit. 

How you will receive your BRP card 

If you have not applied for your visa yet, you can choose to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card from the University of Bristol rather than a Post Office. Your BRP is a photo ID card that acts as your student visa while you are in the UK. 

How do I collect my BRP from the University?

  • Please see the Right to Study check page for information on how to collect your BRP https://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/new/before-you-arrive/register/right-to-study-check/
  • If you have not received an email yet, your BRP is not ready for collection.  When your BRP has been received by the University we will check the details are correct and take a copy before emailing you, so please be aware that this process may take a few days  
  • When you receive your visa decision you may receive confirmation from the UKVI that your BRP will be sent to the University and that you can collect it 10 days after the visa decision and that you have to collect it within 10 days of arrival.  This is standard text from the UKVI regarding BRPs.  Because your BRP is being sent to the University it does not have to be collected within 10 days.  We will hold your BRP safe for you until it has been processed and then email you when it is ready to be collected.  
  • Please email svs-reg@bristol.ac.uk if you have any questions.

If you have not received your BRP yet, please find some commonly asked questions below:

  1. I need my BRP to open a bank account - You shouldn’t need your BRP to open a bank account as long as you can provide your passport with your stamped vignette inside. Please refer to the this webpage for more information about opening a bank account in the UK. In particular, please open the Banking Handbook which will tell you exactly what you need to open an account. The Global Lounge team can give you general advice about opening UK bank accounts, including features of different accounts. Please email global-lounge@bristol.ac.uk.
  2. Can I start working before I receive my BRP? - If the visa sticker (called a vignette) in your passport or travel document has not expired, you can use it as proof of your right to work in the UK. Please visit the UKVI website for more information: Biometric residence permits (BRPs): If your BRP has not arrived - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Please also visit our website for more information about Working during your Studies.

How do I collect my BRP from the Post Office?

If you did not apply using the university ACL code, you would need to collect your BRP from the Post Office.

Please be aware that you will not receive an email from the Post Office or the university to say your BRP has arrived and is ready for collection, you will just need to go to the Post Office with your passport.

You must usually collect your BRP before the vignette sticker in your passport expires or within 10 days of arrival, whichever is later. The Post Office will keep your BRP for 60 days so you can safely complete any period of isolate/quarantine before collecting your BRP. 

Once you have collected your BRP from the Post Office, you will need to bring your BRP and passport to a Right to Study check appointment. Student Visas will send you an email about making a Right to Study check appointment. For more information about Right to Study checks please see this webpage: https://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/new/before-you-arrive/register/right-to-study-check/.

My landlord says they need my BRP number for right to rent checks, but I don't have it yet 

The UK government advice for landlords confirms that, as is not always possible to have your biometric residence permit (BRP) before entering into a tenancy agreement, the landlord can accept the short duration vignette in your passport as proof of your right to rent. They will need to ensure that the vignette is still valid (that the expiration date has not passed) and follow the manual check process. Once you have collected your BRP your landlord may wish to conduct a further check. 

If your landlord is asking for your BRP, you can direct them to the UK Government webpage which confirms this is not needed for your initial Right to Rent check. They may also wish to call the Gov.uk Landlord Helpline on 0300 790 6268, Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4:45pm Friday, 9am to 4:30pm who will be able to confirm this.

If you are applying for your student visa from outside the UK

Enter the University of Bristol’s ACL code 2HE397 when making your visa application online.

Your BRP will be delivered to the University. Once we have received your BRP, Student Services will email you with instructions about how you can collect it from us. 

If you will be under 18 when you arrive in the UK, we strongly recommend that you use the University’s ACL code when making your application. If you choose to collect your BRP from the Post Office instead, will need to nominate an adult to come with you when you collect it. Nominate this person using the online form. Your nominated person must then be approved by the Home Office.

Applying for your student visa from inside the UK

Use your own address when applying for your student visa from inside the UK. Include your room number in your student residence, if you know it. Your BRP card will then be delivered directly to you.

Once you have received your BRP, you must complete our Right to Study check

Please be aware that your new BRP replaces your old BRP, so even if you have time left on your old BRP it will no longer be valid and cannot be used for travel.

Please note your BRP may arrive after the term starts because you’ve made an application in the UK. You are still able to register and complete Right to Study checks. 

If you used the UK Immigration: ID Check app

If you used the app to prove your identity when applying for your visa, you will not get a BRP. Your immigration status will be stored digitally instead.

If your BRP expires on 31 December 2024

You do not need to tell UKVI if your BRP expires on 31 December 2024 but your immigration status allows you to stay longer. All BRP's are currently valid until 31 December 2024 at the latest as you will not need a BRP from 1 January 2025. You will be able to prove your immigration status online after that date. UKVI will update the information on this webpage in early 2024. You do not need to do anything and your immigration status will not be affected.

You should however check your decision email (if you applied for a visa in the UK) or your decision letter (if you applied for a visa outside the UK) for your visa end date and ensure it is correct. Please refer to our webpage for information on correct visa end dates and guidance on how to apply to correct any errors. If your visa was granted inside the UK, you will only have 14 days from the date of BRP delivery to apply for the correction, so it is important that you check your immigration permission expiry date as soon as your visa is granted. 

What to do if you are under 18

If you will be under 18 when you arrive in the UK, we strongly recommend that you use the University’s ACL code when making your application. If you choose to collect your BRP from the Post Office instead, will need to nominate an adult to come with you when you collect it. Nominate this person using the online form. Your nominated person must then be approved by the Home Office. Please note this is not a standard service the University offers and we are unable to help you to find a nominated person. 

If you are unable to nominate an adult and are therefore unable to collect your BRP from the Post Office, you will need to report this to the UKVI using the following form: https://www.biometric-residence-permit.service.gov.uk/collection/where

Return your previous BRP to UKVI

If you applied for your most recent visa overseas and you had previous UK leave evidenced by a BRP, it is strongly advised that you return your old BRP to UKVI by post as it is no longer valid. Please cut your BRP into 4 pieces and put it in a windowless envelope and send it by secure post, for example 'special delivery,' from the Post Office which is a track and trace service, to Freepost RRYX-GLYU-GXHZ, Returns Unit, PO Box 163, Bristol, BS20 1AB.

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