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Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) and Electronic Visas

Last updated: 13/06/2024 11:00

Information about how and when you will receive your BRP and eVisa.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

What is a BRP?

Your BRP is a residence permit with biographic details (name, date, and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints).

It also shows your immigration status and permissions while you remain in the UK. If your student visa is longer than six months you will collect a BRP once you arrive in the UK.

For more information about BRPs, see GOV.UK website.

If your visa application is successful, you will be issued a vignette (sticker) in your passport, which is valid for 90 days and will allow you to travel to the UK.

If you do not travel to the UK within this validity period, your vignette will expire, and you must apply for another.

You must arrive in the UK and enrol on your course by your latest enrolment date, even if your vignette is valid beyond this.

Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement will include the latest start date for your studies. If you cannot arrive by this time, contact your school.

When submitting your visa application, you will have selected to collect your BRP from the university or a post office. You will need to collect your BRP from the location you selected.

Our Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code

If you used our Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code when you made your visa application and selected to collect your BRP from the University, the collection will be from the Centre for Student Life.

Wait for an email from the university with a date for when you will collect your BRP card.

If you have not used our ACL code

If you did not select Cardiff University as a collection point, your BRP will be sent to a Cardiff Post Office. You will receive information from the Home Office to confirm the Post Office branch you must attend to collect your BRP.

The relevant Post Office branches in Cardiff are:

The Post Office branch will be allocated to you based on the postcode you submit in your visa application.

It is possible to request collection from a different Post Office branch on payment of a fee, but you cannot request collection from us.

Further information on the collection, changing location, and other questions you may have are available at Biometric Residence Permit | Post Office

Please use the Cardiff University ACL number to ensure that your BRP is delivered to us so we can issue it.

If you are under 18 and need to collect your BRP from the Post Office, you must be accompanied by an adult.

The adult, who can be a parent or guardian, must be nominated and have the correct documentation with them. This documentation would include a “Letter of Authority” approved by the Home Office, the nominee’s identity document, and your passport with the vignette sticker.

They must accompany you to the Post Office to collect the BRP.

If you do not have a parent or guardian to accompany you, Cardiff University staff will be available to help. Contact Student Connect with 'Under 18 BRP Collection' as the subject line of your email.

The university can only assist under-18-year-olds with the Albany Road Post Office collection.

To collect your ID card, you must ensure you have your BRP.

You will receive further information about how to collect your ID card via email.

You will need your BRP and identity documents (e.g., your passport) for a right-to-study check to be completed when you pick up your student ID card.

Collection of the Student ID card completes the enrolment process and you are only fully enrolled on your course once you have completed this step. You must do so by the start date of your latest course.

If your latest course start date is imminent and you do not have your BRP, contact Student Connect.

BRPs will not be used as evidence of immigration status after 31 December 2024. BRPs, BRCs, stamps and visa vignettes (stickers) will be replaced with with an eVisa. Updating your physical document to an eVisa does not affect your immigration status or the conditions of your permission to enter or stay in the UK.

Electronic Visas (eVisa)

The way you prove your immigration status is changing

You may know that BRPs will no longer be used as evidence of immigration status after 31 December 2024. The UKVI is taking steps to replace BRPs and visa vignettes (stickers) with electronic-only status, known as an e-Visa. The e-visa will be accessible online through a UKVI account and shareable through a share code.

What is an eVisa?

An eVisa is an online record of your immigration status and the conditions of your permission to enter or stay in the UK. You will need to create a UKVI account to be able to access your eVisa.

You may be in the process of making or preparing for your Student Route visa application now and wondering how you can expect your visa to look. This is an area that is changing, so check regularly for updates.

At present, for applications made overseas, applicants granted their visa can expect to receive a visa vignette (sticker) in their passport and to collect a BRP in the UK once they arrive. Along with this, you will also receive an invitation to create a UKVI account either in your grant/decision email or notification (this is the email from the UKVI that informs you your visa has been granted) or in an invitation email received from the UKVI in the next few months.

If you do not receive an invitation, do not worry! The system is being rolled out in stages and will open to all visa holders later in 2024. This is expected to be in the Summer period (July-August). You can still use your vignette and BRP for travel until the end of the year, as normal, even if you have not created a UKVI account.

This may change over the coming months. Check this page for updates and read any notifications from the UKVI directly regarding your ongoing application to be aware of changes.

For those students who currently hold a BRP or will receive a vignette and/or BRP in the near future, but have Student Visa permission that extends past 31 December 2024, the process will depend on how you applied for your current visa.

If you applied for your Student visa overseas (except for EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals) or you applied in the UK and attended an in-person biometric appointment, you will be contacted by the UKVI in the next few months with information on how to create your UKVI account and access your eVisa. This email will have a link and easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your account.

You can only create your UKVI account after you have been sent an email invitation to do so by the UKVI. Do not share your email invitation with friends: each visa holder should receive their own invitation.

Please do not worry if your friends and classmates receive their email before you: e-visa status is being rolled out in stages, so the emails will be received at different times. It is expected that all students should receive their invitation before the end of Summer 2024. The system is also expected to become accessible to all without invitation after this time.

If you applied for your visa using the UK Immigration ID Check App, then you will already have a UKVI account. This applies to all nationalities who use the App in the UK and to EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals accessing the App overseas. You can find further information and log in to your account on the UKVI pages. Please note that if you are a non-visa national, you will no longer receive a BRP, and your leave will be evidenced online only. You can find the list of visa nationals on a dedicated UKVI page.

If your BRP expires earlier than 31 December 2024, then this is the date that your visa expires. You will not be issued with an eVisa. You must not remain in the UK after the expiry date on the BRP unless you take action to extend or switch your visa before the expiry date.

Existing students can access our Intranet pages for guidance on Student visa extension and to access information about visas for after-study.

Student Visa Support will update this information periodically to support you, and we will host workshops to assist with this process. Check this page and the University's communication channels for forthcoming updates and additional information.

Those travelling in 2024 should continue to carry their in-date BRP or visa vignette with them and to present this to your airline or other carrier and to Border Force.

From Summer 2024 onwards, if the passport or national identity document you are travelling with is linked to your UKVI account, airlines and other carriers should be able to digitally check your immigration status. It will be important that you check your details and visa dates are correct on your UKVI account and to ensure that you update your account with any new passport or other change to your details.

Make sure you have key documents to hand when travelling (stored safely in your hand luggage) such as:

  • your passport
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) as an electronic or printed proof of study
  • evidence that you will be living in the UK (residence agreement letter or email confirming your Cardiff address).

The University will need a copy of your Student Visa for you to enrol and for ongoing study.

You can provide a share code at the point of enrolment to ensure that your student ID and enrolment period continue for the full length of your course. If you cannot access your share code at that time, you will still be able to present your BRP. You will need to provide your share code at a later date and before the expiry date listed on your BRP to meet UKVI regulations and your continued enrolment on your course.

More information will be available soon.

Check the UKVI pages directly for the most up-to-date information.

Our pages will be updated with further information as soon as it becomes available.

Student Connect