Students Staff

Your visa / BRP & passport

We recommend that you keep photocopies of your main passport pages and visa in a safe place, away from the originals. If you travel outside of the UK, carry photocopies in a separate bag to your original passport and visa.

Your visa

  • If you applied for your visa overseas, you will have been granted an Entry Clearance vignette (sticker) in your passport which is valid for either:
    • the full length of your course if up to 6 months in duration or
    • 30 days. If you have been granted an entry clearance vignette valid for 30 days, you will also be issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which you will need to collect after your arrival in the UK
  • If you applied for leave to remain from within the UK, you will be granted a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Your visa / BRP and passport

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) are biometric identity cards that contain details of your full immigration permission. They are issued to Essex non-EEA students who have been issued with:

  • Tier 4 (General) leave to remain (applied within the UK)
  • Tier 4 (General) leave to enter of more than six months (applied overseas)

The Home Office provide guidance on biometric residence permits.

How to get your BRP

How and when you receive your BRP will depend on whether you make your Tier 4 application from overseas or in the UK.

Choosing a collection location

When you make your Tier 4 (General)application, you will be asked to select a BRP collection location in the UK. When choosing, remember that you must be able to collect your BRP within ten days of arriving in the UK or before your 30 day entry clearance vignette expires, whichever is later. If you don't, the Home Office may issue you with a penalty or cancel your leave. If you are able to select your campus as a collection location, please note that you must be able to come and collect within ten days of arrival in the UK.

If you do want to collect your BRP on campus, use the details below when applying:

  • Colchester Campus

    Select: Alternative Collection Location (ACL) and input code: 2HE557. It will show the University of Essex, Colchester Campus address for the BRP to be sent to.

  • Loughton Campus

    If you are arriving less than ten days before your registration date

    If you are arriving in the UK less than ten days before your registration date you will be able to collect your BRP from the Loughton Campus during registration.

    When choosing the location select: Alternative Collection Location (ACL) and input code: 2HE557. It will show the University of Essex, Colchester Campus address for the BRP to be sent to. We’ll bring your BRP from Colchester to Loughton during the registration period for you.

    If you are arriving ten or more days before your registration date

    If you are coming to the UK more than ten days before your registration date you have two options to collect your BRP. You can either:

    • select the Post Office at Walthamstow Central E17 7JH or Leytonstone E11 1HG as these are the easiest to travel to from Loughton.
    • select the University of Essex as your Alternative Collection Location (ACL), input code: 2HE557 and come to the Colchester Campus to collect your BRP from our Student Services Hub

    We would recommend that you collect your BRP from the Post Office as either one will be much closer to you than travelling to the Colchester Campus.

  • Southend Campus

    It's not possible to collect your BRP on campus. However, there is a Post Office located a short distance away. Please select: Southend-On-Sea Post Office, 199/201 High Street, Southend On Sea, Essex SS1 1LL.

Entry clearance sticker and travelling to the UK

If your visa application is successful your passport will be returned to you together with a decision letter, your passport will contain an Entry Clearance vignette (sticker) that will be valid for 30 days. Check your entry clearance sticker to make sure the validity dates and conditions are correct.

You must arrive in the UK within the 30 day validity of the Entry Clearance vignette. If you can't you will need to apply and pay for a new 30 day vignette.

If you are issued with an Entry Clearance vignette that is valid for the duration of your course you will not need to collect a BRP in the UK.

  • UKCISA guidance on what happens when your visa is issued and see below if there are any problems with your visa or passport..

Collecting your BRP

You must take your passport that contains the Entry Clearance sticker and the UK Visas and Immigration decision letter (that came with your passport) that will tell you when your BRP will be available and where to collect it from.

Please note that if the date your BRP is available from is a Saturday or Sunday you may not be able to collect it until the next working day.

The Home Office provide guidance on collecting your BRP which covers:

  • what to do if your BRP hasn’t arrived
  • what to do if you have lost your decision letter and/or passport
  • what to do if you want to collect your BRP from a different location (please note that it's not possible to change your collection location from a Post Office to the University or from the University to a Post Office)

Where and when to collect your BRP

Under 18s - applying for and collecting your BRP

If you're making your visa application before you are 18 years old, you will need to include additional information and evidence and may need to collect your BRP with a ‘responsible adult’ if you have selected a Post Office as your collection location. If you're studying at our Colchester or Loughton Campus and select the University of Essex as your Alternative Collection Location you won't need a 'responsible adult'.

If you have travelled to the UK with a parent you can collect your BRP with them provided they are also collecting a BRP at the same time. If this isn’t the case, you will have to nominate your parent as your ‘responsible adult’ and receive Home Office authorisation before going to collect your BRP.

If you don't have a parent with you, we hope that the emergency contact you have given us or someone else you know in the UK would be able to act as your 'responsible adult'. However, if you don't have anyone who can do this please email safeguard@essex.ac.uk as soon as possible so we can advise you what you can do.

Your BRP will be delivered to the UK address you included on your Tier 4 application form. It comes separately from your decision letter, passport and other documents, usually a few days later.

You cannot collect your BRP in person. Don’t forget you must bring your BRP to your Student Services Hub as soon as you receive it or to registration if you are starting a new course with us.

What to do when you have your BRP

If you are starting a new course you will need to bring it to registration along with your passport, where we'll do visa checks. If your BRP isn't available to collect before you register then you must bring it to your Student Services Hub as soon as you get it.

If you extend your visa in the UK to continue your studies with us you will need to bring your BRP to your Student Services Hub.

Checking your BRP and correcting any errors

Your BRP is your visa and it's your responsibility to check it immediately. If there are any errors, you must take action to have it corrected and you only have a limited time to do this. Most errors must be reported within 10 days.

If you collect it from a Post Office or receive it by post, you must check it immediately. If you collect it on campus, we aim to check it before you collect and we will tell you if we notice an error. However, it is your responsibility to ensure your immigration permission is correct so you must check it carefully too.

Errors can include:

  • your personal details (name, nationality, gender)
  • the type of visa
  • the visa conditions (work, police registration)
  • the length of visa (expiry date)

How to report and correct the error depends on the type of error and where you applied for your visa. If you find an error:

You must comply with any visa condition you have been given, unless you are issued with an updated visa/BRP with a new condition.

Other visa, BRP or passport issues

  • Entry Clearance problems and errors – Tier 4

    Your entry clearance sticker should be valid for 30 days if you are doing a course of more than 6 months and depending on when you applied, it should start either 30 days before your CAS course start date or on your intended date of travel or on the date it was issued, whichever is the latest. If your course is for up to six months it should be valid for the whole of your course. Your entry clearance sticker will also show your visa conditions. Check what leave and conditions you should have been given.

    If you are outside the UK and have been issued with an Entry Clearance sticker with incorrect validity dates: Contact the UKVI’s International Enquiry Service to request the error be amended in order to travel to the UK. Please note, you will be charged or asked to make payment to use this service. Please also let us know, especially if this may mean you may not be able to travel to the UK as you had planned.

    If you are outside the UK and you think your expiry date is wrong on your UKVI outcome letter: Email our International Services team to explain and attach your outcome letter, we will then advise you what to do.

    If you are outside the UK and have been issued with an Entry Clearance sticker and your conditions are wrong: For instance your work condition states ‘no work’ or ’10 hours p/w in term time’ and you are a degree student or you have incorrect Police Registration conditions. Contact the UKVI’s International Enquiry Service to request the error be amended in order to travel to the UK. Please note, you will be charged or asked to make payment to use this service.

    For other errors and problems with entry clearance vignette (sticker) read the UKCISA guidance.

  • I have a new BRP



  • My BRP hasn't arrived

    Applied in the UK

    If you applied in the UK and your BRP hasn't been delivered within ten days of receiving your Home Office decision letter:

    Applied overseas

    If you applied overseas and your BRP isn't available for collection on the date your decision letter from UK Visas and Immigration says it will be:


  • Lost, stolen or damaged BRPs

    1. Report it to the Home Office immediately and apply for a replacement BRP within the deadline stated by the Home Office. Your BRP will be cancelled straight away and takes several weeks to replace, so if you’ve lost it make sure you can't find it before you report it.
    2. Report any theft to the police (if it happened in the area covered by Essex Police you can report it online). Keep evidence of any report you make to police as you may need to provide evidence of this when applying for a replacement BRP. You won’t be able to report a lost BRP to the Police and get a crime reference number. Applications for replacement BRPs are currently taking up to 12 weeks to be processed. If you have lost your BRP and need to travel outside the UK, contact our International Services team for advice before reporting to the Home Office that your BRP is lost.
    3. Take your new BRP to your Student Services Hub as soon as you receive it.
    4. If you are required to register with the police, update your police registration within 7 days

    Inside the UK

    If you are inside the UK apply for a replacement BRP within 3 months of this having been lost/stolen/damaged. A fee will be payable. If your BRP is valid for less than 3 months, you must still report it as lost/stolen/damaged but you won't need to get a replacement.

    Outside the UK

    If you are outside the UK, apply for a single-entry replacement BRP visa before travelling back to the UK – select the following route: reason for visit: other, visa type: others, visa sub type: replacement Biometric Residence Permit.

    No CAS is needed but we recommend submitting a standard certificate of registration. Once you are back in the UK, apply for a replacement BRP on form BRP(RC) – you must apply within 1 month of returning to the UK.

  • Updating your personal details

    You must report changes to your name, address, or nationality.


  • Other changes

    Other changes that must be reported to the Home Office include:

    • if you have received a criminal conviction
    • if your relationship with your dependant/s changes
    • changes to your studies

    Guidance on changes to your circumstances.

  • I have a new passport


    *If you have an entry clearance visa you can carry both your new and old passports when you travel. However if your old passport was lost/stolen/damaged or you wish to prove your right to work in the UK while you are studying, you will need to transfer your visa to a BRP by submitting a Transfer of Conditions application instead.

  • Lost, stolen or damaged passport


    • Report any theft to the police (if it happened in the area covered by Essex Police you can report it online.
    • Report the loss to the relevant authorities in your country – if you are in the UK this means the consular section at your embassy.
    • Obtain a new passport.
    • If you are in the UK, follow all the steps in 'I have a new passport' above.
    • If you are outside the UK and your BRP isn't lost/stolen, you can enter the UK with your existing BRP then follow all the steps in 'I have a new passport' above.
    • If you are outside the UK and your visa was in your lost/stolen/damaged passport, apply to transfer your visa into your new passport before travelling (apply online for a vignette transfer: (select 'reason for visit: other, visa type: others, visa sub type: vignette transfer'). When back in the UK follow the steps in ‘I have a new passport’ above. A fee will be payable to apply for a vignette transfer.

  • My visa/BRP is about to expire