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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 Southampton 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?

Students who extend their Tier 4 immigration permission from within the UK 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 at a designated Post Office. Some (but not all) Post Offices are set up for biometric enrolment. There is a small fee of £19.20 for using the Post Office service and you don't need to make an appointment.

  • you need to take your bar coded biometric invitation letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) with you to the Post Office
  • 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 after you receive your letter. Failure to do so within 15 working days will delay your application and could result it being invalidated.

If you live in Southampton the closest post offices to submit your biometrics are:

Romsey Post Office
15-25 Church Street
SO51 8WA


Eastleigh Post Office
14 High Street
SO50 5TA

For opening times check the Post Office website branch finder

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 Southampton Solent University, if you have applied through the International Advice Service) shortly afterwards by post.

Page last updated on Thursday 10 November 2016 at 11.53am.


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