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Passport, visa and BRP problems

Last modified: 26 March 2020

A vignette is a sticker placed in your passport following a successful entry clearance application. It contains basic details about you and the permission you have been granted. A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a document in the shape of a card issued by the Home Office to students (and their partners and children) as evidence of their immigration permission (also known as leave to enter or remain). The BRP card includes a microchip which contains two of your fingerprints and a digital photograph. As part of the process of applying for leave (outside, or inside, the UK) you have to give your fingerprints and have your photograph taken (these are known as your "biometrics"). For more details on the process for giving your biometrics, please see our information on applying for Tier 4 immigration permission from outside the UK and inside the UK.

If you make a successful immigration application, you will be issued with one of the following documents: a vignette for full length of leave; or a 30-day vignette; or a biometric residence permit (BRP). The following information outlines the steps to take if you are in possession of one of these documents and it is lost, stolen, or damaged, and/or it contains errors, and/or you receive a new passport while you are in possession of the document. See Report change of circumstances about what to do if you have a change of circumstances while in possession of one of these documents.

Vignette for full length of leave

Last modified: 26 March 2020

A vignette for the full length of leave is issued following a successful entry clearance application if the leave is for six months-or-less. [Vignettes for the full length of leave used to be issued to all applicants, before the phasing in of the 30-day vignette which happened between 18 March 2015 and 31 July 2015.]

The following information outlines the steps you will need to take if there is a problem with a vignette issued for the full length of leave.

Vignette lost/stolen/damaged outside the UK

Vignette lost/stolen/damaged inside the UK

Errors on vignette

New passport (and you have a vignette for your full length of leave)

30-day vignette

Last modified: 26 March 2020

A 30-day vignette is issued if you apply for entry clearance for permission of more than six months. You will need to use this 30-day vignette to enter the UK and then collect a biometric residence permit (BRP). The Tier 4 Policy Guidance confirms that students must not enter the UK earlier than the first date of their 30-day vignette. Entering the UK prior to the first date on your vignette will invalidate your Tier 4 leave.

The following information outlines the steps to take if there is a problem with your 30-day vignette.

30-day vignette lost/stolen/damaged/expired outside the UK

30-day vignette lost/stolen/damaged inside the UK

Errors on 30-day vignette

New passport (and you have a 30-day vignette)

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Last modified: 26 March 2020

BRP is issued if your application is made from within the UK and is for further permission, or leave, to remain. In addition, if you have a 30-day day vignette you will also be issued with a BRP which must be collected after your arrival in the UK. ​For more details, read Home Office information about BRPs.

The following information outlines the steps you will need to take if there is a problem with your BRP:

BRP lost/stolen/damaged outside the UK

BRP lost/stolen/damaged inside the UK

Errors on BRP

New passport (and you have a BRP)

Short-term student leave obtained on entry to the UK

Last modified: 26 March 2020

Non-visa nationals wishing to study as short-term students for a period of six months or less, may either apply for prior entry clearance or at the port of entry on arrival in the UK.

Eligible nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States of America who are permitted to use eGates, are instructed to see a Border Force Officer in order to obtain a short-term study stamp for the purposes of studying as a short-term student for a period of six months or less.

Should you lose your passport after receiving a short-term study stamp on arrival in the UK, you will firstly need to replace your passport by making the appropriate arrangements with your embassy in the UK. In order to obtain a further short-term study stamp, you will need to leave and re-enter the UK and obtain a further short-term study stamp by seeing a Border Force Officer once again on re-entry.

Until you depart the UK and obtain a further short-term study stamp, you still remain a valid short-term student. It is recommended however that you make arrangements to depart and return as soon as possible so that you can evidence the basis for your stay in the UK. You should also keep a copy of some evidence of the initial date of your arrival in the UK, for example flight tickets or your boarding pass.

Short-term study students who obtained prior entry clearance, should follow the instructions for vignette for full length of leave if you lose your passport following entry to the UK.

 

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