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Biometric Residence Permit

From July 2015 the UK Government changed the way that immigration documentation is issued to people applying overseas to come to the UK for more than six months. If you apply to enter the UK as Tier 4 (General) student, or the dependant of a Tier 4 (General) student, you will be issued with a one-month vignette (sticker in your passport) but will also be applying for a Biometric Residence Permit (known as a BRP). You will not need to submit your biometrics when you arrive in the UK as these will already have been taken when you applied for your visa in your home country.

Biometric Residence Permit

The BRP is a plastic card which shows your photograph, personal data including your date and place of birth, and your immigration conditions, including Solent University's Tier 4 Sponsor Licence Number and the length of time you are allowed to remain in the UK.

It also contains a microchip holding your unique biometric data.

What is biometric data?

Biometric data is your signature, photograph and fingerprints digitally recorded. It is usually just referred to as 'your biometrics'. It is collected as part of the visa application process.

When (and how) do I submit my biometrics?

When (and how) do I submit my biometrics?

Students who extend their Tier 4 immigration permission from within the UK, or apply for replacement visa,  receive this in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). If you are applying for a Tier 4 extension from within the UK, as part of the Tier 4 visa application process you will be required to submit your biometric data.

As of 25 April 2019 the process of providing biometrics has changed. You can no longer provide those at the post office. Instead during your visa application process you will have the option to choose a VCAS centre in which you can provide your biometrics. UKVCAS centres across the UK:

  • 6 core service centres offering free appointments (Belfast, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, Solihull)
  • 50 enhanced service centres offering charged appointments ( including Southampton)
  • 1 premium lounge (London)

 You will need to attend your appointment with the following:  

  • You need to take your bar coded biometric invitation letter from Home Office UK Visas and Immigration Service (UKVI) with you to attend your pre-booked appointment.
  • Make sure you arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled time, as later arrival will require you to book another appointment
  • they will capture your biometrics by taking your photograph, fingerprints and digital signature 
  • all information is then sent securely to UKVI

Please remember that you must submit your biometrics as soon as possible. Failure to provide your biometrics will result in visa rejection.


In person applications

If you are making a visa application in person your biometric data will be taken on the day. If your application is approved your BRP card will be sent to you or Solent University (if you have applied through the International Advice Service) within 2 weeks by post. 


Page last updated on Monday 8 April 2019 at 2.11pm.


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