If you have made your Tier 4 (General) visa application from outside of the UK to enter for more than six months, you will be given a 30-day temporary visa (entry clearance), which will be placed in your passport. If your course is for less than six months, you will not be issued a BRP because your entry clearance visa (in your passport) will be valid for your whole stay in the UK.
When you arrive in the UK, you will then need to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP). This is a plastic card that acts as the visa for the length of your course and is separate to your passport. A BRP contains your personal information, your biometric information (photograph and fingerprints) and states your immigration status and some of your conditions.
It is advisable to collect your BRP as soon as possible after you arrive as you are likely to need it during your first few weeks in the UK – for example, to open a bank account. If you do not collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK you may have to pay a fine and/or your visa may be cancelled.
Where can I collect my BRP?
When completing your Tier 4 application, you will be asked where you would like to collect your BRP. We recommend that you choose to collect directly from St George’s. Your decision email from UKVI will specify where to collect your BRP and the date your BRP should be available for collection.
Collecting your BRP from St George’s
In order to do this, when completing your Tier 4 application form you will need to enter our alternative collection code (ACL), which we will give you on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) email. You will then either need to collect your BRP from the Student Centre within 10 days of arriving in the UK or at enrolment. You will need to bring your passport and the decision email from UKVI as proof of identity.
Collecting your BRP at a Post Office
If you do not enter our ACL code, the form will ask you to input the UK postcode of the address you will be living at when you come to the UK. If your Tier 4 (General) visa application is successful, your decision email will state the address of the Post Office where you need to collect your BRP. This will be a Post Office close to where you will be living. Please note that it will be your responsibility to ensure that you collect your BRP within 10 days of arriving in the UK. There may be significant waiting times at the Post Office during busy times of the year.
You may not be able to enrol for your programme if you do not have a valid BRP.