Biometric residence permits

If you are an international student with a Tier 4 visa to study for more than six months, you will need to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) within ten days of 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?

You have ten days from entry into the UK to collect your BRP. During the Tier 4 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 when you matriculate.

To collect your BRP at matriculation, you will need to bring the following to our BRP distribution point:

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

Further details about the distribution point will be provided nearer to matriculation.

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 at which 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.

Significances of lost/stolen BRP Cards (Visas)

Please 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. Significances of losing it:

Filing reports

  • Police
  • UKVI

Applications Expense

  • £154 for single entry visa if BRP (visa) lost out with UK
  • £56 for replacement application

Processing Time

  • 8 weeks
  • In-person appointment - 7-10 working days
    • Costs an additional £610
    • A trip to Glasgow, Sheffield or another location within UK as deemed by UKVI

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