If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa which will last more than six months, your permission to be in the UK will be issued in two parts. You will first receive a 30 day entry clearance visa that will allow you to enter the UK. Once you are in the UK you will then be issued with Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which will cover your full duration of studies. 

We hope the following information will explain the Biometric Residence Permit process in more detail. If you have any queries relating to this, please do get in touch with International Student Support.

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 detail your visa information, including how long it is valid for and that you are in the UK as a student studying at Imperial College London. 

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 which you collect 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?

At the start of term (August – October) you can collect your BRP at in-person registration. If you are commencing a course outside of the College main registration period, your BRP will be available to collect form the International Student Support office, level 3 Sherfield Building. You will be sent an email from the International Student Support team when your BRP is ready for collection. 


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, which is around a 20 minute walk from the College. The Post Office’s 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?

If you are collecting your BRP from Imperial College London you will receive an email when your BRP is ready for collection and what you need to do in order to collect it. We anticipate that the majority of students will be invited to collect their BRPs between the following dates

For Imperial College Business School programmes starting 1st September:  1st September – 6th September

For programmes starting 30th September:  25th September – 6th October

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 you will need to bring your passport and your visa decision letter with you when you collect your BRP. Neither Imperial College nor Post Office staff will be able to issue you with your BRP unless you have your passport with you. The staff member issuing your BRP will also need to check your 30 day visa has been stamped by the UK immigration official who checked your passport at the airport. Please ensure the UK immigration official has done this before leaving the airport. 

If you are under the age of 18 and are collecting your BRP from the Post Office, you will also need to be accompanied by a member of Imperial College London staff when you collect your BRP. To arrange someone to come and collect your BRP with you please contact the Admissions Office (admissions.enquiries@imperial.ac.uk). 

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 international@imperial.ac.uk with your College CID number and the names of your dependants so that the BRPs can be matched up in advance of your arrival.