If you are coming to the UK for more than 6 months you will need to apply for an 'entry clearance' visa from outside of the UK. Since 2015, applicants coming to the UK for more than 6 months are required to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
They will receive a decision letter when the visa is granted which contains details of how to collect the BRP card, and they will receive a visa vignette (sticker) in the passport which is valid for 30 days.
If you are coming to the UK for less than six months, the BRP requirement does not apply to you; when your passport is returned to you it will contain a vignette (visa sticker) for the duration of your visit, and there will be no need to collect a BRP when you arrive in the UK.
What are Biometric Residence Permits?
Biometric Residence Permits or BRPs are secure ID cards which contain personal details and biometric information for those who have applied for permission to come to the UK for more than 6 months.
What does the BRP look like?
It is the shape of a credit card and shows the cardholder’s photo on the front, together with personal details and information about their immigration status. The card includes a microchip which contains two of the cardholder’s fingerprints, and the photo on the front is a digital photo. Please see the Home Office guidance to see an example of a BRP.
Where can I collect my BRP when I arrive in the UK?
When making an application for a visa from outside of the UK, applicants can choose to have their BRP card sent to the University of Birmingham campus. We strongly recommend that you choose this option to avoid having to travel to a Post Office and to avoid delays in obtaining your BRP. When making a visa application within the UK (for example when extending your leave) your BRP will be delivered directly to your address by courier.
Collection from the University
In order to collect you card from the University campus when making your visa application online you must enter the University of Birmingham unique code into the Alternative Location field in the BRP Collection Page as indicated in this example.
The University of Birmingham unique code is 2HE322
Your dependants can also use this code in their application.
If you use the University of Birmingham code we will contact you once your BRP has been delivered to arrange an appointment time when you can collect your BRP.
You must attend the appointment in person and arrive on time and you must bring your original passport and your decision letter issued by the UK Visa and Immigration.
Collection from a Post Office
When you are completing your visa application you will be asked to select a Post Office branch during the visa application process. Remember - choose the closest branch as it may be difficult to change at a later date and you will be charged a fee.
You can choose from the following post offices in Birmingham:
- 13 - 15 Islington Row, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1LA
- 85 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9ND
- Unit 15, Newtown Shopping Centre, Birmingham, B19 2SA
- 773 Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 2NH
- 361 Coventry Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, B10 0SH
- 235 Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 9RZ
- 119 Vyse Street, Hockley, Birmingham, B18 6JS
You will need to make your own arrangements to collect your BRP from the Post Office (unless you are aged under 18) and you must take your original passport and your UKVI visa decision letter with you.
When you have collected your BRP you must bring your original passport and original BRP card to the University to be checked and scanned before you can collect your ID card and start your courses.
Changing your BRP Collection location
Once you have made your visa application it is not possible to change the collection of your card from a Post Office branch to the University, or to change the collection of the card from the University to a Post Office branch.
You can change your collection location from one Post Office branch to another Post Office branch, however you will need to pay a fee for each BRP you want to change the Post Office collection for, and you will only be able to do this once you have arrived in the UK. This will also cause delays with the collection of your BRP card so please contact the IST at www.studenthelp.bham.ac.uk so we can advise you on the steps you need to take to start your course.
If you need to change the collection location to another Post Office, please follow the process below:
- You need to visit the new Post Office branch that you want to collect the BRP from.
- You need to present your decision letter and passport (not a copy) to staff in the Post Office.
- Staff in the Post Office will arrange for the BRP collection to be transferred to the new Post Office branch.
- You will need to pay £21.90 per BRP card to the Post Office for this service.
It will take 10 working days before your BRP card can be collected at the new Post Office branch. Please note that not all Post Offices offer this service.
BRP cards for dependants
If you choose to collect your BRP card from the University you may also want to collect a BRP card for your dependants from the University campus. Please note that only the main applicant needs to be present with their dependants' documents. Family members should not be brought to the appointments to collect a BRP card.
Dependants should not use the University of Birmingham collection code if they have specific needs to be met early on arrival in the UK e.g. if a dependant needs their BRP card for specific activity such as a child needing to start school.
If you are collecting a Dependants BRP please make sure you read the relevant information when we contact you about arranging a BRP Collection Appointment. We cannot match a Dependant BRP with a student until you inform us of your Dependants details when booking an appointment. BRP cards for dependants may have to be returned to the Home Office if we have not received the relevant information on the online form.
BRP collection for under 18 year olds
We would strongly recommend that you select the Universtiy of Birmingham as the collection location by using the ACL code 2HE322 when completing the visa application from outside of the UK, as it is not possible for someone under the age of 18 to collect a BRP card from a Post Office unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult who has been approved by the Home Office in advance. If you have a guardian in the UK who is able to collect the BRP on your behalf then you must register their details at https://www.biometric-residence-permit.service.gov.uk/someone-else/arrange providing the following information:
- Your full name, date of birth nationality, passport number, a contact number and case reference number
- The responsible adult's full name, date of birth, nationality, the document they will use to prove their identity along with the expiry date and reference number, their email address and explanation of how the responsible adult is related to you.
If approved by the Home Office, both you and the responsible adult with receive an authorisation email. This email will need to be presented to the Post Office when collecting the BRP card.
If you do not have a guardian in the UK who will be able to accompany you to collect the BRP card, certain staff in the University of Birmingham have been granted Home Office approval to collect BRP cards for students under the age of 18. You will need to contact the International Student Team at www.studenthelp.bham.ac.uk. A member of staff will then send you further instructions and will arrange collection of your BRP.
What do I do if my BRP card has not arrived?
If you applied for a visa from outside of the UK
If you are having problems collecting your BRP for any reason, for example:
- you went to collect it from the Post Office and it was not there,
- you have lost you passport or travel document, or cannot prove your identity or
- you do not know which Post Office to go to because you have lost your decision letter.
You should report this to the Home Office if you have any other above problems collecting your BRP.
The Home Office will email you within 5 working days to advise you on what to do next. Please remember to provide an email address, as without this it can take a little longer.
If you applied for a visa from within the UK
If you make your application for a visa within the UK the BRP card is not issued on the day you give your biometrics, it will be delivered to you by courier. If you have not received your BRP within 10 working days of the date of your decision letter you should notify UKVI.