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Lost passports and visas

I lost my passport

There is no need to report a lost passport to the Police in the UK or the Home Office. They will be unable to give you a crime reference number or log details of this. You simply need to contact your country's Embassy to obtain a new passport.

I lost my passport overseas and my UK visa was in my passport

If you had an Entry Clearance or Residence Permit sticker (vignette) in your passport for the UK, you will need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa overseas and pay the full application fee. Firstly you will need to obtain a new passport or travel document. To do so, you should contact your country's embassy and follow their procedures. To make your visa application, you should use the online application form as if you were making a new Tier 4 visa application. Please see the following link to the Tier 4 application form. There is a section at the end of the application form where you should explain how and where you lost/had your documents stolen. Please provide as much information as you can. You will need to submit any supporting evidence you have which gives details of the loss or theft of your visa, including a Police report. You will not be required to submit a new CAS or prove your maintenance evidence unless it is specifically requested. You should insert your old CAS number in the CAS section of the form.

I have obtained a new passport but my visa is in my previous passport

If you are in the UK and your UK visa is a stamp in your passport, rather than a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit), you need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration using the TOC application form and will need to pay the appropriate fee. You will also be required to provide your biometric data and your visa will be issued in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

If you are currently overseas, you can apply at an entry clearance post abroad to have your conditions transferred. Entry Clearance Officers may encourage you to provide your biometric data but there is no obligation to do so. Your leave will be transferred to the new passport in the form of a vignette, not a BRP. There will be no need to provide a CAS to accompany the application.

The Entry Clearance Officer may ask for supporting documentation to establish that the applicant's circumstances have not changed. The UK Council for International Student Affairs asked an Entry Clearance Manager what information may be requested. They have confirmed that they should not require evidence of maintenance because this would have been satisfied when the applicant original applied, but this would be assessed on a case by case basis. The Home Office would need to undertake checks on your studies and would expect to see evidence of continuing studies, usually in the form of a letter from the establishment you are attending. Documents should be originals.

I lost my BRP card/ My BRP card was stolen

If you have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP card) covering your leave in the UK, you should ensure you carry this with you when you travel outside of the UK as you will need it in order to return to the UK.

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions relating to the BRP:

Step 1: Check where it might be

Don't panic! First make sure that you have checked all locations where it my possibly be. If you are on campus, check with the Security Service (Tel: 02476522083). Do a thorough search before reporting it to the Home Office because once it's cancelled, it cannot be reversed!

Step 2: Inform the Home Office and local Police

You need to report the loss of your BRP immediately by completing an online form which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/lost-stolen-damaged so that the Home Office can cancel your permit. You will be asked to provide your personal information such as:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • BRP Reference number
  • Contact details
  • Where and when the BRP was lost or stolen

You will also need to report the loss of your BRP to the police (whether in the UK or overseas) and obtain a police report and/or crime reference number. If you reported the loss by telephone, or, if the local police force does not give our crime reference number for lost property, remember to note down the case reference number.

Step 3: Obtain a replacement BRP visa to return to the UK (if lost overseas)

If you lost your BRP card overseas, you must apply for a replacement BRP visa in order to re-enter the UK. It can be problematic especially if you have lost your passport as well (in which case you must obtain an emergency travel document from your embassy first), or, if you are at risk of overstaying the visa for the country you are currently in (for example, if you are in Schengen zone and your Schengen visa would expire imminently).

This replacement BRP Visa can take between 1-2 weeks to process so think carefully whether you are able to make this application from where you are, or whether it is better to return to your home country where you can be better supported

The replacement BRP visa is a single-entry visa and is only valid for one month. It would grant you a single entry to return to the UK. To make this application from overseas, you must complete an online application form (unless you hold a Cuban or North Korean Passport. In which case you should contact the nearest embassy to enquire about the replacement BRP process). You will be expected to submit a copy of your previous BRP card and a current student status letter when attending your appointment (contact the Immigration Service if you do not have a copy of these with you). The fee for this service is currently £189.00.

Access the online form www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk. You should select the following options:

Reason for visit: Other

Visa type: Others

Visa Sub type: Replacement Biometric Residence Permit

The following message should pop up: This visa is intended for applicants who no longer have their Biometric Residence Permit. It will allow a single journey to the UK to enable you to apply for a new permit. Before completing this application you must have notified us by emailing: BRPLost@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. Further information can be found at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk/visas-immigration/while-in-uk/do-i-need-brp/responsibilities

Complete all areas of the form, and ensure to put as much information as you can in the final section of the form titled 'Additional information'. You should include your police report and details of how you lost/had your BRP stolen from you. You will need to pay online for your application and make an appointment to present your documents and have your biometric data taken. You will receive a vignette (sticker) inside your passport giving you permission to return to the UK to make a further application for a replacement BRP card upon your return to the UK. You should submit your replacement BRP application within the validity of your temporary visa. When you return to the UK, please do get in touch with immigration services so that we can help you with the next stage of the process.

Step 4: Apply for a replacement BRP card

If you lost your BRP card in the UK, or, if you have returned to the UK with a replacement BRP visa, You will now need to complete the BRP(RC) form as soon as possible. Failure to apply for a replacement BRP within 3 months of reporting the loss (or, within 1 month if you are returning to the UK on a 'replacement BRP visa') could result in a financial penalty of up to £1000 or curtailment of leave to remain. You may wish to make an appointment with an immigration adviser, or apply for a replacement BRP application and post by yourself.

If you lost your BRP card in the UK alongside your passport and have not received a new passport within the three month deadline, you should still apply for a new BRP but enclose a covering letter explaining why you have not enclosed your passport and include when you expect to receive your new passport.

There are two ways you can make this application, by post (£56, 8-10 weeks) or in person (£556+, 2-3 weeks). Please do not make travel plans (especially if you can't be flexible with the travel dates) until you have received your new BRP card to avoid having to cancel your trip. 

If you decide to make an appointment to see an adviser, please ensure that when attending the appointment, you would:

1) have completed the form (download from the link below and use the guidance below): https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/419171/BRP_RC__Form_04-15.pdf

Guidance from the Home Office is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-a-replacement-biometric-residence-permit-brprc

Guidance specific to students at the University of Warwick is available here(PDF Document).

2) bring 2 passport-sized photos taken within the last month (see guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports/photo-requirements

3) bring 2 documents as proof of your address, for example, a recent student status letter (you can obtain this from Senate House Student Reception), a recent bank statement with your name and address on, tenancy agreement, utility bill, NHS registration card etc.. They need to be original.

4) bring your original passport, police registration certificate (if it is your visa condition) and crime reference number/police report

5) bring a postal order of £56 (made payable to 'Home Office'. You can obtain this from any Post Office). DO NOT buy the postal order if you want to attend an in-person appointment.

If you are applying independently, make sure that you use our 'sample BRP(RC) application form' when completing the form- it provides useful guidance and explanation specific to students at Warwick. We would also recommend that you use our correspondence address found in the sample application form above. Remember to email global.reception@warwick.ac.uk with your full name, Warwick Student Number and the date BRP (RC) application is posted so that we can notify you when we receive any letter from the Home Office.

From 2 February 2015 it is possible to use a Premium Service for the replacement BRP application. The service can be booked online here: https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/premium-service-appointment-booking. You will be able to choose when and where you wish to attend (there are a total of 7 Premium Service Centres), and you will be expected to pay the full fee (£556) online first, print out the confirmation, and bring the completed BRP(RC) and documents when you attend the appointment. You will normally receive a decision before you leave the Premium Service Centre, and your BRP card will be sent by post within 7-10 working days.

Can I travel whilst I am waiting for my new BRP?

You are strongly advised not to travel until you have received your BRP. If you need to travel urgently you are advised to seek advice from the Immigration Service.

What if I lost my BRP in the UK but I have already booked to travel overseas over the next a few weeks?

This can be tricky. Although it is possible for you to leave the UK without a BRP card, you will not be able to return to the UK without it. You have two options: 1) make an in-person appointment in the UK, choose an appointment date as early as possible (depending on availability you may need to travel to a less busy Premium centre). Once you have attended your appointment, your BRP card should arrive within 7-10 working days (although quite often it will arrive sooner). 2) make a single replacement BRP visa application from overseas (see information above), return to the UK with the single-entry visa, and apply for a BRP card once you are back to the UK. It may not be feasible if you are travelling for holiday for a short period as you may not receive your BRP visa in time to return to the UK.

What if I haven't received my BRP back within 10 working days of receipt of the decision letter?

You can contact the Home Office UKVI (https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi/visas-and-settlement) to enquire the delivery of your BRP card. Anternatively, contact the Immigration Service team and we can look into it on your behalf.