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Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs)

Since July 2015, it has been necessary for anyone applying for a Tier 4 visa from overseas which will be valid for longer than 6 months, to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK. This is also a requirement for students applying for an 11 month short term student visa.

Tier 4 students or students applying for an 11 month short term student visa who make their visa application overseas will receive a temporary travel visa (vignette) in their passport which will allow you to enter the UK. This temporary travel visa is valid for 30 days (which starts either 30 days before the course start date on your CAS or 7 days before your intended date of travel to the UK, whichever is later). You are required to collect your BRP (which will be your Tier 4 visa valid for the duration of your course) within 10 days of arriving in the UK. Where you collect your BRP from will depend on information you insert on your visa application form. This will either be the University or a designated Post Office. The University would advise you to have your BRP sent to the University, for your ease. This is done by inserting a special code onto your visa application form. Further details on what to do can be found below.

The UKVI have produced some guidance for applicants.

Please find below the answers to some useful questions about this process.

How do I ensure the University receives my BRP?

On your Tier 4 or 11 month short term visa application form, when you get to the BRP collection page you need to insert a specific code into the 'Alternative Location' field. The specific code is stated on the CAS email that you have received. Dependant applicants can also use this code in their application. If you do wish for your dependants cards to be sent to the University, please complete a form with their details so we know to expect receipt of these.

When the Home Office have processed your visa application they should send you a letter confirming where your BRP has been sent.

When the University receives your BRP card, we will email you to confirm it has been received. This email will inform you how and where you can collect it.

Where will my BRP go if I have already made my visa application but have not used the specific Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code?

If you did not use the specific ACL code, your BRP will be sent to a designated Post Office. You cannot change this delivery address after your application is submitted. When the Home Office have processed your visa application, they will write to you with the outcome of your application and this letter will contain details of the Post Office where you will need to collect your BRP.

You will need to make arrangements to collect this yourself, within 10 days of your arrival in the UK. You will need to take your original passport and Home Office letter with you to collect this. You will then need to bring your original BRP and passport to enrolment where you will be permitted to fully enrol. If you are arriving after the main enrolment event, you should take your BRP to the Student Reception in Senate House for them to take a copy. There are instructions on the right-hand side of this page of how to get to the two Post Offices closest to the University which your card may be sent to.

What happens if I am not able to travel to the UK within the validity of my temporary travel visa?

If you do not travel to the UK within the validity of the 30 day temporary travel visa, you will need to apply for another temporary travel visa (a fee will be payable).

What if I wish to travel outside of the UK after I have entered the UK but before I am able to collect my BRP?

If you will be travelling out of the UK you must make sure that on the date you are planning to re-enter the UK, your 30 day temporary travel visa which is in your passport is still valid. You should, where possible, collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK, otherwise you may receive a fine or cancellation of your visa.

What if I do not collect my BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK?

Failure to collect your BRP within 10 days of your arrival, may result in you receiving a fine or cancellation/curtailment of your visa.

Please be aware, however, that if the University has received your BRP it is ok for you to go over the 10 day deadline to enable you to collect your card at your enrolment event. You may refer to the enrolment webpages for information about when your enrolment event is. You should be aware that the Home Office require us to return your BRP to them if you have not collected it within 60 days of us receiving it.

What if I am unable to collect my BRP in-person?

You are expected to collect your own BRP. The following exeptions apply:

if you:

  •  have a serious illness or disability that prevents you from collecting your permit; or
  •  are under 18 and you cannot collect your permit at the same time as your parent or legal guardian collects their own biometric residence permit,

you may be able to nominate someone else to collect your permit on your behalf. The nominated person will have to show your passport and vignette and show evidence of their own identity. More information can be found in the UKVI guidance for applicants leaflet.

What will the University do with my BRP when it is received?

The Home Office (UKVI) have imposed strict security requirements about the storage and distribution of these BRP cards. Only certain members of University staff are permitted to handle BRPs. A copy of your card will be scanned onto your student record so it is available at enrolment and the original card will be stored in a safe until your enrolment event. When we have received your BRP card we will email you to confirm its receipt. This email will confirm where you should collect your BRP card from and what you need to bring with you to do so.

Can my dependants BRPs be sent to the University too?

Yes, Warwick is happy to receive your dependants BRPs too. In order for us to ensure your dependants cards are stored with yours, you must complete an online form providing us with yours and their details once your visas have been granted and you have received your letter from the Home Office confirming your visa has been granted (you are required to upload a copy of this letter). When completing their online dependant application form they should also use the ACL code stated in your CAS on the BRP collection page.

What do I need to do if my course starts outside of the UK but Warwick is sponsoring me from the start of the course?

If your course starts in a partner institution or in a teaching site which is outside of the UK (for example, at Warwick in Venice), you may need to come to the UK first to collect the residence permit before starting your course outside of the UK. If you are unable to come to the UK first, please contact us for more advice.

When can I complete online course registration?

Once you have received your temporary travel visa you can complete the online course registration process. Information can be found on the enrolment webpages.

What if my temporary travel visa expires whilst I am still overseas but I still wish to come to the UK?

You will need to make an application to the Home Office for a new temporary travel visa before you travel to the UK. Information on applying for a replacement is availale on the Home Office website 

You will have to pay £189 for this new application and provide your biometric information again, but you will not have to submit a new Tier 4 application. You should use the same online application form that you used to apply for your Tier 4 visa but you should select the following options:

Reason for Visit: Other
Visa Type: Others
Visa Sub Type: Vignette Transfer

At the end of the application form you should use the 'Any other information' field to explain that you have been granted a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK but you need a new 30-day vignette and give the relavant reason.

You must ensure that you will still be arriving by the latest start date on your CAS.

What if I change my travel plans and now wish to travel to the UK before my temporary travel visa start date?

This is not possible. The Home Office have confirmed to us that in this circumstance it is not possible to apply for a new temporary travel visa to allow you to enter the UK earlier than originally planned. You are advised to change your travel plans so that you arrive after the start date of your temporary travel visa.

I am an International Foundation Programme student who is under 18, how do I collect my BRP from a Post Office?

We would recommend that if possible, you choose to have your BRP sent to the University using the ACL code in your CAS. However, if you have already submitted your Tier 4 application and have not used the ACL code, you will need to follow a certain procedure to enable you to collect your BRP from a Post Office if you are under 18 at the time of your arrival.

The IFP team will assist you in this procedure, please complete our online enquiry form, providing us with confirmation you will require assistance with this and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

I am a Warwick student who is under 18, how do I collect my BRP from a Post Office?

We would recommend that, if possible, you choose to have your BRP sent to the University using the ACL code in your CAS as this will mean we will receive it on your behalf and there is no need for an adult to accompany you to collect it. However, if you have already submitted your visa application and have not used the ACL code, you will need to follow a certain procedure to enable you to collect your BRP from a Post Office.

As you will be under 18 you need to be accompanied by a responsible adult (someone who is over 18 years) when you go to the Post Office. You should follow the process below.

1) You should identify someone over 18 years old in the UK who will be able to accompany you to the Post Office

  • You must register the responsible adult who will be accompanying you by informing the UKVI using the online service at https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/collect with the following information:
    • your full name; your date of birth; your nationality; your passport number; a contact telephone number; and your case reference number. You must also provide the following information about the responsible adult accompanying you to collect your permit: their full name; their date of birth; their nationality; the document they will use to prove their identity; their identity document reference number; the identity document expiry date; their email address; and how the responsible adult is related to you.
  • If approved, you and the responsible adult will receive an authorisation email. You and the responsible adult will need to present these to the Post Office Customer Service Adviser at the time of collection and you will not be able to collect your permit without them.

Should I hold more than one BRP at a time?

No. You should only have one BRP at a time. The Home Office should keep any old BRPs at the time you make a new visa application. If they return your old BRP to you by mistake, you should return it to them in a plain windowless envelope to the following address:

BRP Returns
Freepost
Returns Unit
PO Box 163
Bristol
BS20 1AB

What should I do if I have more queries about the BRP process which aren't covered on this website?

Please feel free to contact the BRP team using the online enquiry form.