Biometric Residence Permits

Students coming to the UK for more than six months will need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) upon arrival in the UK.


What is a BRP?

BRP stands for Biometric Residence Permit. This is evidence of your immigration status in the UK. Not everyone will have a BRP, as some may receive a digital visa status or a full visa vignette in their passport instead.

Your visa decision letter will confirm if you do have a BRP. If so you may need to collect this upon arrival in the UK, and must ensure you take it with you when travelling in order to return to the UK. You may automatically receive a BRP where you have:

  • Applied to settle in the UK
  • Extended your visa in the UK
  • Transferred your visa to a new passport
  • Applied to come to the UK for longer than six months (depending on your nationality)

Your BRP will include your:

  • Fingerprints and photograph
  • Name, date and place of birth
  • National Insurance (NI) number (if applicable)
  • Immigration status and conditions of your stay (including your recourse to public funds)

Collecting your BRP

Your visa decision letter will confirm if you do have a BRP. If you applied for your visa from overseas you will need to collect your BRP when you arrive in the UK. You will receive a travel vignette or sticker in your passport (usually valid for up to 30 days before your course start date) and a letter confirming where to find your BRP collection location.

  • Where you applied inside the UK, your BRP will be sent to you by courier.
  • Where you applied outside the UK, you can collect your BRP upon arrival from the University or the Post Office. This will depend on what you answered in your visa application form.

You must usually collect your BRP before the vignette sticker in your passport expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK. Read below for more information about changes to this requirement due to Covid-19.

Collecting your BRP from the University

Where you wish to collect your BRP from the University, enter our ACL code: 2HE237 in the BRP Collection section of the visa application form when you are completing this.

You will be emailed when the University receives your BRP with instructions on where and how to collect this. You must wait to receive this email before collecting your BRP from the University as the location and instructions may change and to ensure the appointments can occur as safely as possible.

Remember that you must bring your original passport to your BRP collection appointment.

Checking your BRP

When you receive your BRP, it is very important that you check all of the information on it is correct. Check the correct length of visa you should be granted here: 

Visa duration

If there are any mistakes on your BRP, it is very important that you follow the instructions on the letter that your BRP is attached to within 10 days. More information can be found on UKVI's website.

BRP expiry date of 31 December 2024

Your BRP will have a latest expiry date of 31 December 2024 even if your immigration permission or visa expires after this date. This is because UKVI is planning to change the BRP system. Do not worry about this or report this as an error, as UKVI will be contacting you in early 2024 with guidance on how to get updated immigration evidence.

If you are unsure when your visa expires, our detailed guide (PDF, 104KB) may help you confirm when.

Do I still need to collect my BRP card within 10 days of arriving in the UK?

Where you are collecting your BRP from a Post Office, you must collect the BRP either within 10 days of the date you entered the UK or before the 'valid to' date on your vignette, whichever is later.

If you are collecting your BRP from the University, you can collect the BRP after this, as long as your evidence shows that you entered the UK before the 'valid to' date on your vignette.

For new students, where the University has received your BRP before you register on your course, the BRP will be issued to you at your registration appointment. If this does not apply to you, you should be aware that the University must return any BRPs that have not been collected once they have been held for 60 days. Therefore, you should make arrangements to collect your BRP as soon as you can after you have been emailed by the University with instructions on how to collect it.

I have applied for my visa from overseas and need to change the BRP collection location

UKVI have advised the University that once your visa application is submitted, it is not possible to change from Post Office collection to University collection and vice versa.

If you wish to collect your BRP from a different Post Office to the one listed on your decision letter, there are instructions on how to do this on page seven of UKVI's BRP Guidance.

I am applying for my Student Visa in the UK, what should I do?

If you are applying from the UK your BRP will be posted to the address you include in your visa application form and will not need to be collected from a post office or the University. You should ensure that you include your UK address in your visa application form correctly and expect to be living at this address by the time your visa application is decided.

If you need to change the address your BRP card will be sent to, follow the advice below:

  • If you have received your visa decision then you should get an email from the courier TNT to confirm that your BRP card is to be delivered. You must contact TNT directly and re-arrange delivery by calling them on 0345 608 0630 with your reference number. See: TNT Delivery Support
  • If your visa application is still pending and you have not received a decision yet then you should contact International Student Support. We can then request that UKVI change your correspondence address on their system. You should also update your address details using UKVI's online change of address form.

Change of address form

Contact International Student Support

  • If you are concerned about receiving your BRP card at your UK address then you can use the International Student Support, Advice & Compliance Team's Office address as the postal address so the BRP can be delivered to pick up the University. If you wish to do this, the address you should enter as the postal address on the visa application form is: University of Sheffield, Att: G.Bottery, SAS, Level 6, Students' Union, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TG.
  • The courier TNT will attempt to re-deliver your BRP card three times within 30 days and then return it to the Home Office. If your BRP card does return to the Home Office you can then contact them using this form to organise redelivery of the BRP.

I can’t come to collect my BRP card from the University as I have returned home. What should I do?

The University is not permitted to post your BRP card to you overseas, nor can it issue the card to a third party. If you do not intend to return to the UK within a reasonable timeframe or are no longer sponsored under the Student Visa or Tier 4 system then we may return your BRP card to UKVI.

If you are still sponsored then you would still be able to contact UKVI and request your BRP upon your return to the UK using the webforms below:

I am unable to travel or return to the UK within the period on my visa vignette?

If you are unable to travel to the UK before the 'valid to' date on your vignette, it's possible that you will miss the latest possible registration date on your course.

Contact ISSAC

I have lost my BRP

If your BRP has been lost or stolen, visit the page below:

Lost/Stolen Passport or BRP

Proving your right to work or rent

A BRP card cannot be used as evidence of your right to work or rent in the UK. An employer or landlord must check your immigration status online instead.

To do this you must:

1. Request and download a ‘share code’ online, using the relevant GOV.UK page:

GOV.UK- Prove your right to work to an employer

GOV.UK- Prove your right to rent in England

2. Send this to your employer or landlord via email.

3. They will use the ‘share code’ to confirm your immigration status and save this evidence themselves.

For more information on how to prove your status in the UK, visit:

GOV.UK- Prove your status without a BRP