Biometric Residence Permits (BRP)
Your BRP explained
Your BRP is an important document. It shows your permission to be in the UK, and when that permission expires. It also shows the type of permission you have, and other conditions such as whether you are allowed to study and work.
Not every student with a student visa will receive a BRP. UK Visas and Immigration are in the process of phasing out BRPs entirely. In the transition period, whether you receive one or whether your permission is purely electronic may depend on the length and type of your visa, where you applied and your nationality. If in doubt, please contact an immigration adviser.
If you are concerned that your BRP expires on 31 December 2024 but your overall permission expires later, please see the ‘Expiry’ section below.
- You must either leave the UK or make a valid visa application before the expiry date on your BRP if it corresponds to your visa expiry date.
- Keep your BRP in a safe place. If you need proof of age or identity, use a Citizens Card instead.
- Have you lost your BRP? Follow the steps below to report and replace it.
- If you collect your BRP from a post office, or you receive a replacement BRP at your UK address, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that UWE Bristol can arrange to scan it for our records.
Please see our page on arriving in the UK for information about collecting your BRP. You should check the details on your BRP carefully. If anything seems incorrect, contact the Immigration Advice Service.
The front of your BRP shows:
- A photograph of your face
- Your unique BRP number
- Your name (if you have a family name, it should appear on the top line, with other names below)
- The date your permission expires under 'VALID UNTIL'. Apply for a new visa or leave the UK by this date if it corresponds with your visa expiry.
- The date the BRP was issued
- The type of permission, e.g. 'student visa'
- Conditions, including work restrictions. Y0GU9EHG2 is UWE Bristol’s licence number, showing you are allowed to study here. If you have Skilled Worker permission, your employer’s licence number will show.
The back of your BRP shows:
- Your date and place of birth
- Your sex and nationality
- A chip containing your biometric data
- Remarks, such as 'No public funds'. This means you cannot claim certain state benefits. If you have permission other than student visa, your National Insurance Number may appear here.
- A machine readable zone, which includes much of the information shown elsewhere on your BRP.
Check the personal details on your BRP carefully. They must match those in your passport at all times. If any personal details change, you must notify the PBS Compliance Team at PBSHelpline@uwe.ac.uk, because the University has a duty to inform UK Visas & Immigration.
It is your responsibility to leave the UK or make a valid visa application before the expiry of your visa. It is likely you will not receive a further CAS from UWE Bristol should you overstay.
Your visa expiry date is based on the end date which appeared on your CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Study) if you have a student visa. Most students at UWE Bristol will have four months’ permission added to their end date. For example if your end date is 2024, your permission may expire in September 2024. However, if your course is less than 12 months long, only two months are added. So if you are attending only the final year of your programme at UWE Bristol – from September 2023 to June 2024 for instance – your permission will expire in August 2024.
Because BRPs are being phased out, all expiry dates from 2025 onwards are shown as 31 December 2024. Don't be alarmed if this applies to you. Your actual expiry date is unaffected, and you can find it in the notification you received when your visa was granted. UKVI will put in place a system allowing you to 'view and prove your immigration status online before your BRP expires (or failing this, will make other arrangements).
If your course is more than 12 months long in total (i.e. from the original start date of your programme as shown on the CAS), you should receive four additional months even if your most recent visa application was for less than 12 months (for example to attend retakes).
If you are returning from a placement year or moving on to the Masters part of an integrated Masters (e.g. from BEng to MEng) with a new visa, your new expiry date should reflect the additional four months.
Please contact the Immigration Advice Service if you have any doubts or you believe an error has been made.
Your BRP shows whether you are allowed to work in the UK, and any restrictions such as the maximum number of hours per week. Please see our Working During Your Studies web page for more information. UWE Bristol Student visas allow up to 20 hours' work per week during term time. Contact us if you think your BRP is wrong. Students' dependants should have no restriction on their working hours.
Please be aware that UWE Bristol recommends you work no more than 16 hours per week in order not to jeopardise your academic progress.
If you are considering a work placement, please discuss your plans with the Immigration Advice Service. You must notify the PBS Compliance Team at PBSHelpline@uwe.ac.uk and the Placements Team before going on a work placement.
The process for correcting errors will depend on whether you applied for your visa in the UK or in your home country, and on the type of error.
Correction of most errors made on in-country applications can be requested online. The exceptions are errors concerning the length of permission or conditions attached, which require ‘Administrative Review’ and for which a fee of £80 is charged. The fee is refunded if the error is acknowledged.
Errors made on overseas applications can usually be corrected online, free of charge.
The Immigration Advice Service will assist with either type of correction.
Police registration was abolished on 5 August 2022. The abolition applies retrospectively.
If you have been instructed to register with the police as a condition of your visa, even if it was issued before 5 August 2022, you do not need to register.
If you have previously registered with the police, you do not need to take any action. Find out more about existing police registrations.
What you need to do if your BRP is lost or stolen
You must report your BRP missing. Make sure you are certain it is lost before taking this step. Once reported missing, your BRP will be cancelled (and must be replaced if required) - even if you find it again. Replacing your BRP can be time consuming and expensive. Report your BRP missing on the Gov.uk website.
If you are in the UK
If your permission expires in less than three months, and you will not need to re-enter the UK during that time, you are not expected to replace your BRP. Otherwise, you must either make a new visa application or apply for a new BRP using the Gov.uk online form, within three months of losing it.
If you would like any assistance from an immigration adviser, we recommend you complete as much of the form as you can, up to - but not including - the declaration and payment, and then contact us.
If you are overseas
Apply for a single entry Replacement BRP Visa. This costs £154 and may take up to 15 working days to arrive unless you can access premium services. Please note that this is an entry clearance and not a replacement BRP. You must arrive in the UK within the validity period of your entry clearance.
- Complete the online form to apply. Please select 'BRP Vignette Transfer'.
You will be asked to provide your biometric data.
Once you are back in the UK, you must apply for a new BRP within one month of arrival by following the instructions on how to replace your permit above and paying the appropriate fee.
Returning to the UK without a BRP (if lost when overseas)
If you are a visa national, your airline or other carrier will prevent you embarking for the UK without your BRP.
While we advise against it, if you are a non visa national you can travel back to the UK without your BRP. There is a risk you will be either refused entry, or admitted in a category other than your student visa which could prevent you studying. However, if you have no alternative but to travel, please carry in your hand luggage:
- a copy of your BRP (UWE Bristol can provide this if you don't have one - email email@example.com)
- evidence of the loss of your BRP (preferably a police report, translated into English if necessary)
- a student status letter (you can download this from the My info tab in MYUWE under My documents).
Readmission is at the discretion of the Border Force officer you encounter at the port of entry.
The standard service costs £19. This includes the fee for enrolling your biometric data. Please be aware that there may be an additional, variable fee payable depending on the date, time and location of your biometric appointment. Biometric enrolment is managed by a third-party contractor and neither UWE Bristol nor the Home Office can influence the speed, cost or convenience of the process. The earliest and cheapest appointments may not be in Bristol.
The standard service will aim to give you a decision within eight weeks of enrolling your biometric data. The earlier you get an appointment, the sooner you will receive your new BRP.
Leaving the UK before your new BRP arrives
While we advise against it, if you need to leave the UK urgently it is possible to do so without your BRP. You should consider carefully whether this is absolutely necessary, as your eligibility to return to the UK - particularly if you are a visa national - will depend on obtaining a new entry clearance.
If you have an entry clearance which is still valid for multiple entries, you can continue to use this until it expires. You may have to explain to a Border Force officer why you do not have your BRP yet.
We strongly recommend you use your BRP only to demonstrate your immigration status (for example when travelling, or when it is requested by an education provider, bank, landlord or employer). When you don't need it for this purpose, leave it at home, locked in a safe place. If you need to prove your identity or age (eg to rent a car, buy certain restricted items or get into a club) we suggest you use another form of ID, or obtain a Citizen Card.
To apply for a Citizen Card:
- get a form from any Information Point or download it (PDF).
- complete it and hand it in to an Information Point
There is no charge providing you apply through UWE Bristol.
Replacing a lost BRP is inconvenient and can be expensive. Keep it safe!