Lost Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Cards & Passports
Remember your BRP card is your Tier 4 visa: if you lose it you have no way to show you are legally here in the UK and you cannot re-enter the UK without it.
Replacing a BRP card can be very expensive: £590 (for the premium service) + £56 (application fee) or postal-service (£56). Postal service can take up to eight-weeks or more to get a replacement card. It is very important that you do not carry your BRP card on your persons when in the UK. Please try not to lose it.
The UKVI do not consider lost/stolen BRP cards as a priority and you will not be able to fast-track applications unless you pay the premium service of £590.
How to Avoid Losing your BRP Card
- Store your passport and BRP (as well as other valuables) in the safest place. This is your judgement. You may choose to leave your documents in the safe in your hotel room or the safety of your home. Or you may prefer to carry your passport and BRP with you (not recommended). If you do, make sure they are hidden away (for example inside zipped pockets in jackets or bags) and avoid taking them out.
- If you need ID for making purchases or going into clubs and bars, buy an International Student Identity Card, or ISIC/NUS Card. As well as entitling you to various discounts, it is an internationally accepted photo ID that shows your name, date of birth and study location. Find out more on the ISIC website.
- Scan your passport and BRP and upload copies in different devices or store them online before you travel. So even in the worst case scenario that some of your belongings are stolen/lost, you would still be able to access the copies somewhere else.
What to Do if You Lose Your Passport and BRP Card in the UK/Abroad
Losing your Passport/BRP card in the UK
If your passport is lost or stolen, it is important you do the following:
1. Inform the Police
- You can do this by visiting a police station or making the report to the police station. You will need to fill in a form explaining what happened and you will be issued with a crime reference number. Make sure you keep these details somewhere safe as you will need them to get a new passport. If your Biometric Residence Permit is lost or stolen, you must also report the loss or theft to the UK Visas & Immigration soon as possible. Report and replace your lost or stolen BRP card.
2. Contact your Embassy
- Contact your embassy in London to apply for a replacement passport. You may need to supply your crime reference number. Please contact your embassy or go on their website. You may be required to complete an application and take it to the embassy to submit in person
3. Notify the university and the Police Nationalities Unit (If applicable)
- Please let the university know of any changes in your Passport by going to the Student Registry and inform them so that they can update your student record. If applicable, you must also update UK Visas & Immigration with your new passport details by filling in a Migrant Change of Circumstances form.
- If one of your visa conditions was to have police registration, you must notify you will need to visit the Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO) to update your Police Certificate or provide you with a new one
4. Replace your BRP Card
- You must apply online for another permit. This has to be done within three months of reporting the theft or loss. If you fail to do this, you could face a financial penalty of up to £1,000 or the UK Visas & Immigration may cancel your stay. The application will cost £56.
Losing your Passport/BRP Card Outside of the UK
If your passport or BRP card is lost or stolen, it is important you do the following:
1. Inform the police
- Contact the local Police in the area and they will provide you with a crime reference number or a police report. Make sure you keep these details somewhere safe as you will need them to get a new passport. If your Biometric Residence Permit is lost or stolen, you must also report the loss or theft to the UK Visas & Immigration as soon as possible. Report your lost or stolen BRP card.
2. Contact your embassy
- Apply for a replacement passport, Contact your Embassy Embassy Worldwide or embassy.goabroad.com will help you find details of the nearest embassy in that country. Explain to your embassy about what has happened. You may need to supply the police report or crime reference number. They will provide you with guidance on how to get a replacement travel document. Do not travel with a photocopy of your passport.
3. Apply for a temporary visa to allow you to return to the UK (lost BRP card)
- You must apply for a temporary visa to return to the UK after you have reported your BRP as lost/stolen. You will need to apply at the local Visa Application Centre in the country which you are in. The cost is £169.
- Follow the guidance on the Home Office website. This explains that you will need to apply for a Replacement BRP visa (normally valid for one month) which you will use once to return to the UK. On the online application you should choose the following options:
Reason for visit – other
Visa type – other
Visa sub type – Replacement Biometric Residence Permit.
Find a visa application centre and find out how to apply for a BRP. You must not try to travel with a photocopy of your BRP. The Border Force Officers may not permit you entry to the UK without an original visa.
4. Replace your BRP Card
- Once you have returned to the UK, you must apply for a replacement BRP within one month of your arrival (and before the expiry date on your temporary visa).
- You must apply online for another permit. If you fail to do this, you could face a financial penalty of up to £1,000 or the UK Visas & Immigration may cancel your stay. The application will cost £56.
5. Notify the university and the Police Nationalities Unit ( If applicable)
- If your visa condition required you to register with the police. Once you have received your new BRP card you must update your police certificate at your local police station.
Travel Safety Tips
- Keep in touch with your family and friends, and let them know where you are and that you’re safe.
- Buy travel insurance before your trip (read the terms and conditions carefully as sometimes you have to have been living in the UK for a certain amount of time before you will be insured). This should cover you for replacement valuables and money, as well as for health care if you become ill while you are away.
- Don’t carry large amounts of money or display expensive items like your camera/phone/iPod or other valuables in public places.
- Split your money and cards, and keep them in different places. This way, if something is stolen, you won’t have lost everything.
- Get a prepaid credit card as an alternative to your direct and credit when abroad. You'll eliminate the worry about theft and overspending as you won't need to carry wads of cash around. You've got the additional perk of preventing ID theft and fraudulent transactions, as prepaid cards work like an electronic travellers' cheque.
- Make copies of your passport and visa.
- Be aware of your surroundings, try not to look like a tourist!
- Use your hotel safe.