Immigration and visas

Your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit)

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A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a biometric identity card. They are issued by the UK Government and contain details of your immigration permission. The Home Office provide guidance about biometric residence permits online.


The guidance below is for those issued with Student immigration permission to study with us.

Who should have a BRP?

Most nationals granted UK immigration permission to enter or stay in the UK under the Student route will be issued with a BRP. Students who have digital immigration status and those granted permission for less than six months will not have a BRP.

How and when you receive your BRP from the Home Office will depend on whether you made your Student immigration application from overseas or inside the UK.

How will I obtain my BRP?

I applied for my visa in the UK

Your BRP will be sent to the address you gave in the application form you submitted online. You will receive an email from the Home Office telling you if you have been granted permission to stay in the UK as a Student. If you have, your BRP will be sent to the address you put on your application form approximately 10 days after you receive the outcome email, although it can take much longer during busy periods.

I applied for my visa overseas

You will have selected a a collection location in the UK when you completed the Student visa application form you submitted online and will need to collect it from there. The address of the collection location you chose should be on the outcome email you receive from the UKVI, you may have to check your application form if it is not, and you cannot remember where you chose.

If you are studying at our Colchester or Loughton Campuses, you may have chosen the University as your collection location.

If you are completing your Student visa application form read our Student route application page to find out which location you should choose that is closest to your campus.

Collecting your BRP when you arrive in the UK

If you applied for your Student visa overseas and have an Entry Clearance vignette (sticker) in your passport you must collect your BRP by the ‘valid to’ date on the entry clearance sticker or, within 10 days of your arrival in the UK, whichever is the latest date.

Due to COVID-19 you will have more time than usual to collect your BRP after your arrival in the UK and if you have selected the university as your collection location, we can keep it for longer. If you are in quarantine upon arrival in the UK, you should not go to collect it during that time, please wait until your quarantine period has ended.

How do I collect my BRP from the University of Essex?

If you are studying at our Colchester or Loughton Campus - when you made your Student visa application overseas, if the BRP collection location you selected was the University of Essex, Colchester Campus, C/O Tier 4 Compliance Team or the University of Essex International College, Constable Building but you are not studying at the college:

When you arrive in the UK, you should be able to collect your BRP when you attend your right to study check in person on campus, if we have received it. You can find out where you need to go on campus for your right to study check by reading our Registration page.

Please note the following for collecting your BRP:

  • You must bring your passport containing the entry clearance vignette. You will also need to bring a copy (electronic or paper) of the UKVI decision email showing the BRP collection location. If the collection location is not shown you should bring a copy of your Student visa application form.
  • If you are self-isolating as required by COVID-19 rules, you will not be able to collect your BRP until you have finished self-isolating.
  • If you also need to complete your right to study check and collect your registration card, this will be done when you collect your BRP.
  • We can only issue your BRP to you once we have carried out the necessary checks in person. It is not possible for anyone else to collect it for you or for it to be posted out to you.

If you are studying at our Southend Campus - you are advised to select the Southend Post Office as your collection location, however, if you chose the University you will need to contact our International Services team to make arrangements for collection.

Please be aware that BRP’s are kept securely at the Colchester Campus so if you are studying at another campus there may be a delay in getting the BRP to your campus.

If you are sponsored by Kaplan or the University of Essex International College to study at the college, you will need to contact them to arrange collection.

How do I collect my BRP from the Post Office?

You will need to visit the Post Office you selected when you made your Student visa application, it may also be shown on your UKVI outcome letter. You can use the Post Office branch finder to find details of when the branch of the Post Office you have selected is open and where it is located (enter the postcode stated on your decision letter). You may have to take a bus or train depending on the branch you have selected. Here are details for Post Offices nearest to our Campuses:

  • Colchester Campus: Travelling to the Colchester Post Office from the Colchester Campus (.pdf)
  • Loughton Campus: Walthamstow Central E17 7JH or Leytonstone E11 1HG (these are the easiest to travel to from Loughton)
  • Southend Campus: Southend-On-Sea Post Office, 199/201 High Street, Southend On Sea, Essex SS1 1LL. A short walk from the University

Please note:

  • You'll need to take your passport containing your entry clearance vignette and your UKVI decision letter showing the BRP collection location. If the collection location is not shown, we advise you take a copy of your Student visa application form.
  • If you are self-isolating as required by COVID-19 rules, you should not go to collect your BRP until you have finished self-isolating. The Post Office can keep your BRP for 60 days.

Redirecting your BRP to a different collection location

It is possible to redirect BRP's from one Post Office to another, but not between a Post Office and the University. Read the Home Office guidance to find out how.

Collecting a BRP if you are under 18 years old

If you're making your visa application before you are 18 years old, you will have had to supply additional information and evidence when you made your Student visa application.

If you select the University of Essex as your BRP collection location, you will not need to do anything additional and can collect your BRP yourself from us.

If you have chosen to collect your BRP from a Post Office, you will need to nominate someone who is over 18 to collect it for you, even if it is your parent. If you do not have a parent with you, maybe you can nominate the emergency contact you gave us or another adult you know that lives in the UK. The Home Office usually take five working days authorise the person you have nominated and they can then collect your BRP.

If you do not know an adult you can nominate to collect it for you, please contact our International Services team for advice as soon as possible.

What to do when you have received your BRP

Your BRP will contain a lot of information, it is your responsibility to check it immediately. If there are any errors, you must take action to report this to the Home Office and have it corrected, you only have a limited time to do this. Most errors must be reported within 10 days after you received it.

We recommend that you keep your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) in a safe place with your passport and do not carry it around with you, unless you need it to prove your immigration status. If it is lost or stolen you will have to pay to replace it, if you are outside the UK you will have to apply for a temporary replacement to travel back into the UK and this can take at least a couple of weeks to obtain.

Check your BRP

Check all the information on the card is correct, including your personal details, Sponsor Licence Number and immigration conditions (work, police registration).

Expiry date

You should have been given some additional time after the course end date on your CAS, often referred to as the 'wrap up period'. Read the Periods and Conditions of Grant section of the Student Immigration Rules to find out how much extra time you should be given. Most Essex students will receive either an additional two months or four months depending on the length of their course.

If your expiry date is 31/12/2024 this may not be an error, read the Home Office guidance for more information.

You can find more guidance about the conditions and length of permission you should have been given on our Student route outcome page.

Report errors to the Home Office

How to report and correct the error depends on the type of error and where you made your Student route application. Read the Home Office guidance and find out how to report the problem with your BRP. If you are issued with a new BRP, the University will need to check it and keep a copy.

If you have been given the wrong conditions, you must comply with the condition that is stated on your BRP, until you have a new BRP showing the correct condition.

Providing your new BRP to the University

If you did not collect your BRP from us, you will need to bring it to your campus so it can be checked and a copy taken for our records.

If you are starting a new Essex course:

You will need to bring your BRP with you to your in-person right to study check on campus, along with your passport and any other required documents, so you can complete your registration.

If you are collecting your BRP from a Post Office, you will need to collect it before you attend your right to study check. If your BRP is not available to collect before your right to study check, you should still come along, make sure you bring a copy of your UKVI decision email showing the collection location or your Student route application form.

If you have applied to extend your Student immigration permission from inside the UK, you will need to bring it to us as soon as you receive it, see below.

If you are continuing your course and have received a new or replacement BRP

If you are issued with a new or replacement BRP after your right to study check, you will need to let our International Services team know you have a new BRP and book an in-person appointment so you can bring it to your Student Services Hub on campus.

BRP problems

My BRP has not arrived, what should I do?

If you applied for Student immigration permission inside the UK:

If you applied in the UK, your BRP should be delivered within 10 days of receiving your Home Office decision email. However, it can take much longer at certain times of the year.

If it has not arrived or you missed the delivery, you will first need to contact the delivery company You can contact the Home Office if it has not arrived within the 10 days but should only do so if you missed the delivery more than 30 days ago or the delivery company cannot help you.

If your address has changed, you will need to tell the delivery company and the Home Office.

Read the government website for more information about getting your BRP if you applied from inside the UK.

If you applied for Student immigration permission overseas:

If your BRP is being delivered to a Post Office – if you have tried to collect it after the date the UKVI said it would be available, we recommend you try again a week later and keep a record of the date(s) you tried to collect it. If it has still not arrived, you can report it to the Home Office and should keep copies of all correspondence with the Home Office. Please email our International Services team with copies of the correspondence to let us know and explain what action you have taken.

If your BRP is being delivered to the University of Essex – you should be advised what to do if it is not available for collection at your right to study event. You may be asked to try again at a later date. If it fails to arrive, our International Services team will let you know what you should do.

Read the government website for more information about getting your BRP if you applied from outside the UK.

I applied overseas but do not know where I should collect my BRP from

You should find this information in your Student route application form, it may also be in your UKVI decision email.

If you are studying at the Colchester or Loughton Campus you may have chosen the university to be your collection location, you can ask us if we have it when you attend your right to study check on campus.

If it has not been delivered to the university and you cannot find any documents or information showing where it should be delivered, you will need to contact the Home Office.

Read the government website about getting your BRP if you applied from outside the UK to find out what you should do.

Lost, stolen or damaged BRPs

If you have misplaced your BRP, search for it thoroughly before taking any action. If you are sure it is missing, report it to the Home Office and apply for a replacement BRP by the deadline given. Your BRP will be cancelled straight away so if you find it after reporting it you will still have to obtain a replacement.

If it was stolen, report it to the police as well, 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 will not be given a crime reference number by the police.

Applications for replacement BRPs may take 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 the loss to the Home Office.

When you have your new BRP you will need to provide it to the university, read the section above to find out how.

If you are required to register with the police, you must arrange to update your Certificate.

Obtaining a replacement BRP - inside the UK

If you are inside the UK apply for a replacement BRP within 3 months of it being 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 may not need to get a replacement.

Obtaining a replacement BRP - 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.

Changes to your name, nationality or address

You must report changes to your name, address, or nationality to the Home Office online and may be issued with a new BRP.

When you have your new BRP, you will need to provide it to the University. Read the section above to find out how.

If you are required to register with the police, you must arrange to update your Certificate. You will also need to update your contact details on your myEssex student portal.

Read our Student directory to find out what you need to do about other changes to your personal details or circumstances.