What is an Entry Clearance Vignette?
If you successfully apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa from outside of the UK, you will be issued with an entry clearance vignette or a sticker in your passport. If your course is longer than 6 months, your entry clearance vignette will not be valid for the entire duration of your course but it will permit you to enter the UK. Your entry clearance vignette will be valid for a period of 30 days so you must ensure that you travel to the UK within this 30 day period or by the 'valid until' date. When your passport is returned from UKVI, you will also be issued with a letter confirming that your visa application was successful. It is very important to bring this letter to the UK to show to the immigration officers on arrival at the airport. When you arrive in the UK, you will be able to collect your full visa (BRP) from either Cardiff Met or from a local Post Office (depending on the selection you made on your visa application form).
If your course is less than 6 months in length, your entry clearance vignette will be valid for the entire duration of your course.
What is a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit)?
A BRP is your UK visa. It is proof that you have the right to be in the UK as a student. When you arrive in the UK, you will be required to collect your BRP from either Cardiff Met or from a local Post Office. Your BRP will be valid for the entire length of your course and should be used if you ever have to prove that you have the right to be in the UK, for example to show an employer. You will not be required to carry your BRP around with you in the UK on a day to day basis, it is therefore important to keep your BRP safe at home with your passport at all times. You may find it useful to apply for a form of identification through
validate UK whilst you are in the UK.
IMPORTANT: If you exit the UK to travel overseas, it is important that you remember to take your BRP with you as well as your passport. Your BRP is your visa and you will not be permitted to re-enter the UK without it. Further general information about BRPs can be found on the
How do I collect my BRP?
The letter you receive from UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) stating that your visa application was successful, will tell you where you should collect your BRP. Depending on the selection you made on your visa application, your BRP should be collected from either Cardiff Met or from a local Post Office. The decision letter will also specify the date that your BRP will be ready for collection. It is important that you take your passport containing your entry clearance vignette and your decision letter when you collect your BRP from either the Post Office or the University.
If you apply to extend your Tier 4 (General) student visa from within the UK, you will be issued with a BRP. If your visa application is successful, your BRP will be returned to the International Student Support Team's office (T0.13). The International Student Support Team will notify you by email once they have received your BRP.
What if I notice a mistake on my BRP?
Once you have received your BRP, it is important to check that the information is correct. If you notice any errors on your BRP, please do contact the International Student Support Team as soon as possible and they will provide you with assistance to correct your BRP.
What do I need my BRP for?
Your BRP is your UK visa! The BRP card is evidence that you have been granted permission to stay in the UK as a Tier 4 (General) student. Your BRP enables you to confirm your identity and your rights to study in the UK. If you exit the UK and travel overseas, you will be required to show your BRP to the immigration officers at the airport on your return to the UK. If you do not have your BRP, you will not be permitted re-entry into the UK. It is likely that you will be permitted to work in the UK during your studies and details about the hours that you are allowed to work will be included on your BRP. If you apply for a job in the UK, you will be required to show your employer your BRP to prove that you have the right to work in the UK.
What if my BRP is lost or stolen in the UK?
If your BRP is lost or stolen in the UK, your will need to report this to UKVI and to the police. You can report the loss of your BRP to UKVI
online. You will need to apply for a
replacement BRP within 3 months of reporting it lost. If you have lost your BRP, it is very important that you inform the International Student Support Team as soon as possible. They will assist you with your application for a replacement.
What if my BRP is lost or stolen when I am overseas?
If your BRP is lost or stolen while you are overseas, you will be required to report this to UKVI and to the police in the country that you are visiting. You can report the loss of your BRP to UKVI
online. You must apply for a
replacement BRP using the
visa4UK website so that you will permitted to re-enter the UK. You will be required to register an account and select the type of visa you are applying for. You need to select:
Reason for visit – Other
Visa type – Others
Visa sub type – Replacement Biometric Residence Permit
You will be issued with a temporary entry clearance vignette (sticker) which will permit you to enter the UK once. You will then be required to apply for a
replacement BRP within one month of entering the UK. If you do not apply for a replacement permit, you may have to pay a financial penalty of up to £1,000, or your visa may be curtailed (cancelled). The International Student Support Team will assist you with making your replacement BRP application from within the UK and will be happy to support you as much as possible while you are overseas.