Coronavirus information and guidance

Biometric residence permits

If you are an international student with a Student visa to study for more than six months, you will need to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) when you arrive in the United Kingdom.

What is a biometric residence permit?

A biometric residence permit is proof of the holder’s right to stay, work or study in the UK. It holds biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints). It also shows the immigration status and entitlements of the holder while they remain in the UK.

A BRP can be used as a form of identification. Although the holder is not required to carry the permit at all times, they must show it at the border, together with their passport, when travelling out from or returning to the UK.

How do I collect my BRP?

During the Student visa application process, you will be given the opportunity to enter an alternative location number to be able to collect your card from the University of St Andrews: use the code 2HE357, and you will be able to collect your card from the University. This year BRP collection will be managed by appointment, and we will provide more details about this when you complete your virtual ID check as part of matriculation. 

To collect your BRP you will need to bring the following to your appointment:

  • your passport
  • student ID card
  • ATAS certificate (if you have an ATAS)
  • your letter from the UKVI confirming that your visa application was successful.

If you do not enter an alternative location number, you will receive a letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) with your passport providing the location where you should collect your BRP card.

Registering with the UK police

You may need to register with the police if you come to the UK for longer than six months, extend your current leave, or switch to a different visa. Find out more about registering with the UK police.

If your BRP card is lost or stolen

Keep your BRP card in a safe location and do not use as ID. Your BRP card is your visa and you must have it in order to enter the UK. See what to do if your BRP card is lost or stolen.

Please look into applying for an ID card and keep your BRP card (visa) safe with your passport:

How to report a problem with your new BRP

If there’s a problem with your BRP when it arrives, or if it doesn't arrive, report it within ten days. Otherwise, you may have to apply and pay for a replacement. See how to report a problem with your BRP