Biometric Residence Permits
If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa which will last more than six months, your permission to remain in the UK will be issued in two parts:
- You will receive a 30-day entry clearance visa that will allow you to enter the UK.
- Once you are in the UK, you will be issued with Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which will cover your full duration of studies.
You do not have to apply separately for a BRP. You’ll get one automatically if your visa or immigration application is approved, or you’re replacing an older document.
We have answered some of the most common queries below. If you still have questions, please contact the International Student Support team.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a BRP?
A Biometric Residence Permit or BRP is a document issued by the Home Office to students (and their partners and children) as evidence of their immigration permission (also known as leave to enter or remain): this is your full study visa.
It is the size of a credit card and will include:
- your name, date and place of birth
- how long it is valid for
- your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information)
- your immigration status (i.e. a student at Imperial College London) and any conditions of your stay
- whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services
I’ve lost my BRP – what do I do?
For detailed information on what you need to do if your BRP is lost or stolen please visit our International Student Support HELP! pages.
Will I get a BRP?
If you are applying for a Tier 4 student visa from outside the UK for a course which lasts more than six months, you will be issued with a BRP.
You collect your BRP on arrival in the UK. So that you can travel to the UK to collect your BRP, you will be given an entry clearance vignette (sticker) in your passport which will start no more than 30 days before your course start date as given on your CAS.
I would like to collect my BRP from Imperial College London – how do I do this?
We recommend all students choose to collect their BRP from Imperial College London.
In order to do this, when you are completing your visa application form enter the code 2HE497 in the Alternative Collection Location field on the Biometric Residence Permit section of your application.
For help on completing your visa application please visit our International Student Support pages.
I’ve asked to collect my BRP from Imperial College London – where do I need to get it from?
We will send you an email once your BRP has arrived.
This email will explain the arrangements for booking a time to come and collect your BRP safely.
This email will also let you know how you should contact the College to inform us of your arrival in the UK.
I’ve asked to collect my BRP from a Post Office – where do I need to get it from?
If you have asked to collect your BRP from the Post Office, please see your visa decision letter for the address of the Post Office where you can collect your BRP and the date from which it will be available.
Most Imperial students based on the South Kensington Campus, who have selected Post Office collection, will be asked to go to the Post Office on Kensington High Street. This Post Office is around a 20 minute walk from the College and the address is:
208–212 Kensington High Street, London, W8 7RG.
You can check opening times on the Post Office's website.
When do I need to collect my BRP?
Collection from Imperial College London
If you are collecting your BRP from Imperial, we will email you to let you know:
- when your BRP is ready for collection
- what you need to do to collect your BRP
Please bear in mind that due to social distancing measures in place this year, you will only be able to collect your card at a dedicated time.
You will have the chance to book a time slot when you have safely arrived in the UK.
If you are required to self-isolate once you arrive in the UK you can only arrange to collect your BRP once your period of self-isolation is over. Find out more about self isolating:
Collection from the Post Office
If you are collecting your BRP from the Post Office, the letter you receive with your 30-day visa should tell you when your BRP will be ready for collection from the Post Office.
What will I need to bring with me to collect my BRP?
Whether you are collecting your BRP from Imperial or the Post Office, it is essential that you bring the following with you:
- your passport – with
- your visa decision letter
Collection from the Post Office by someone under 18
If you are under 18 years old and are collecting your BRP from the Post Office, you will also need to be accompanied by a member of Imperial College London staff.
To arrange for someone to come and collect your BRP with you please email the Admissions Office.
When will I need to show my BRP?
Your BRP can be used as a form of identification in the UK but you are not required to routinely carry it with you and you will not be asked to show it in the street. However, you will need it whenever you need to prove your immigration status in the UK: such as opening a UK bank account, registering with a doctor or renting a property. You must ensure you carry it with you, along with your passport, when you travel in and out of the UK. Please treat your BRP as you would your passport. Keep it safe and secure and try not to lose it!
How do I collect my dependent's BRP?
If you are bringing dependents with you to the UK, you will need to collect their BRP as well as your own. In order to do this please bring your dependent's passport with you when you come to collect your own BRP. If your BRP is being sent to the College it is really helpful if you are able to email email@example.com with your College CID number and the names of your dependants so that the BRPs can be matched up in advance of your arrival.