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. 

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 and contact us if you think there are any errors. 

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

Vignette (visa sticker)

If you have applied for a Student visa outside the UK and you will be coming to study for more than 6 months, the UKVI will issue you with a vignette that will allow you to enter the UK. The vignette is ordinarily valid for 30 days, but due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic entry vignettes currently issued to students are valid for 90 days. As far as we are aware, this is a temporary measure and we do not currently know how long it will be in place for. 

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 vignette is valid from either:

  • 1 month before your course start date (date given on your CAS) or,
  • 7 days before the date you state on your application that you intend to travel to the UK

Whichever is later.

How you will receive your BRP card 

We advise that you use the post office option on your visa application. If you input our office postcode (BS8 1UD) that should give you the option of choosing a nearby post office branch for BRP collection. The post office will hold your BRP for up to 60 days so you can complete the period of required isolation before you collect it. Please note that we have been informed that if students try to collect the BRP within the first 14 days after their arrival (when they should be in self isolation) the post office is likely to refuse to give it out. 

I have used the University ACL code to receive my BRP, how can I collect it?  

We will not be distributing BRP cards to students at the University this year, to abide by social distancing rules.  Any student who chose the University ACL code for their BRP delivery will need to ensure that they do the following. 

  1. Ensure you enter your UK contact address accurately at online registration - making certain that your address is complete, including your room number and block [where applicable]. Student Visa Services take no responsibility for lost BRPs were a student has not entered the correct UK contact address or entered insufficient detail to allow delivery. If you have inputted an incorrect address when completing registration, you can update your address on the university system here: We cannot guarantee the address will be updated before we send information to the UKVI. 
  2. That you have completed the Right to Study check at the end of the online registration process (, stated that you are in the UK and uploaded a copy of your Entry Clearance Vignette complete with an ‘Immigration officer’ stamp showing your date of arrival into the UK. If your visa does not have a stamp as you entered the UK through eGates [nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, or the USA] please also send a copy of your boarding pass to 

Without full completion of points 1 and 2 you will not receive your BRP. 

Next steps 

Once you have done this we will be able to pass your address and Bristol email address onto UKVI to enable them to print and send your BRP card to you. Please note that UKVI only contact us weekly with information on who wishes to use the ACL process, so there may be a gap between us receiving your information and the University communicating your address to UKVI. 

Due to the volumes of cards being printed by UKVI at this time they have told us that you may need to wait up to 10 working days to receive the BRP from the University sending your details.

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS CURRENTLY A DELAY IN THE UKVI SENDING OUT BRP CARDS. If it has been 10 working days and you have not received your BRP card, please do not panic. Unfortunately, we are not able to chase BRP cards or contact the UKVI to make the process any quicker. 

The first data to be send to UKVI will be during the week commencing September 21, 2020 


Your Bristol email address will be used by TNT/Fedex and UKVI to contact you about your BRP delivery, providing you with a delivery consignment reference to track and change the delivery date where necessary. You should receive two emails, one from UKVI and shortly afterwards one from TNT/Fedex confirming the consignment reference. You can then track delivery of the package using the consignment reference and post code via the TNT tracking system:

TNT/Fedex will attempt delivery within 48 hours of collecting the BRP from production. Any issues with delivery should be raised with TNT/Fedex in the first instance using   

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 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

What to do if you are under 18

If you are under the age of 18 you will need a trusted adult to collect the BRP from the Post Office for you. You will need to nominate this person (even if it is a parent) using the following form:

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:

If you applied for your Student visa from inside the UK

Read UKVI BRP general information for applicants inside the UK.

  • We advise that you use your own address in the application for the delivery of your BRP card.  Please give your address in full e.g. including room number if you have one, so that your card can be delivered directly to you at a secure address
  • If you did not submit your previous BRP as part of your visa application, you must return it to UKVI by post. You should post it by secure post, for example 'special delivery' from the Post Office which is a track and trace service, to the address provided in your UKVI decision email (also called Application Update). Failure to do so may result in a fine. 
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