Sign in

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 and Bournemouth)
  • 1 premium lounge (London)

 You will need to attend your appointment with the following:  

  • You need to take your barcoded 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. 

 Lost BRP card? 

If you lose your passport or visa during this time, please follow the relevant guidance on how to replace your documents available on the UKCISA web site.  The process is different for applications made inside and outside of the UK.  

Card lost outside the UK

You will need to have your passport to apply for a replacement UK visa outside of the UK. For replacement, please contact the embassy of your country.  Once you submit an application for a replacement BRP card online, you automatically cancel the existing BRP card. This visa can not be re-activated if found, and will need to be replaced before travelling.  
Replacement visa application time vary considerably between countries so please ask for the estimated time before submitting your application. Premium applications are often available with a shorter turnaround time.  On occasions, students prefer to return to their home country and apply for a replacement Tier 4 visa there.   

On your return to the UK you will need to apply for replacement BRP card within one month. We can help you with it just book an appointment with our International Student Advisor here:

Card lost in the UK

Try to locate your card before reporting is as lost or stolen to the police and Home Office, as once cancelled it can not be deactivated. We can help you with application for replacement visa - you will need to book an appointment with our International Student Advisor here:


Page last updated on Friday 24 January 2020 at 3.20pm.


Change font size

Change colours

Graphics Version

Accessibility on the Portal

Cookies and Southampton Solent University

We need to place cookies on your computer to ensure your browsing experience with us is enhanced.

Please continue browsing as normal if you are happy for cookies to be placed on your computer.

Find out how these cookies are used and how to change your settings

Hide this message