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Advice and Counselling Service

Lost documents

The information on this webpage explains what to do in the event that your documents are lost or stolen. When you receive a new identity or immigration document, you should send a copy to the Student Enquiry Centre so that your record can be updated.

My passport has expired in the UK

Contact your embassy in London to obtain a new one. 

If your immigration permission was on an entry clearance or residence permit sticker (vignette) in your passport, you are not required to apply to transfer your immigration permission to your new passport. You can travel to and from the UK using your new and old passports but you must carry both of these. Alternatively you can apply to replace the sticker that you had in your old passport, by applying for a BRP. You can transfer your immigration permission to a BRP by applying for a ‘transfer of conditions’ on a TOC form 

If your immigration permission was issued as a BRP and you are issued a new passport, you should contact UKVI to notify them of the change. Instructions for how to do this can be found on the UKCISA website. 

My BRP is lost or stolen in the UK

**Please keep your BRP card safe. You do not usually need to carry it with you in the UK. You can buy a proof of age card as evidence of your age to buy alcohol and enter pubs and clubs so that you don’t need to carry your BRP card. A totem card from the NUS is an acceptable proof of age card, and also provides many discounts.** 

Only report your lost BRP to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if you are sure it is lost as once you report it, it will be cancelled and will no longer be valid, even if you later find it. If you are sure you do not have it, you should immediately notify UKVI if it is your BRP that has been lost, stolen or damaged. You will do this on the online form on the UK government website. 

You must apply for another BRP within three months of reporting the loss or theft of your original BRP, using the online form BRP(RC). 

You should complete the BRP(RC) form online to apply for a replacement BRP.  

You will need to enrol your biometrics again during this process of the replacement BRP application. It will take approximately eight weeks to receive your new BRP card.  

You do not need to include your passport with your supporting documents if you are applying to replace a lost/stolen BRP and no other details have changed, and your last BRP card was issued no more than two years ago.  

  • Complete your personal details exactly as they are in your passport. 
  • You should include a copy of the police report if you were issued with one and an official translation if this is not in English. If the police did not issue you with a police report, you should include the police reference number in the application.  
  • If you were not issued with a police report or reference number, you should write a cover letter to explain this. We understand that this will not be a problem for your BRP(RC) application.  
  • For the question 'Your visa or leave' 
    • Select 'Entry clearance' if your full immigration permission is on a vignette (sticker) in your passport 
    • Select 'Leave to enter' if your full immigration permission is on a BRP card which you applied for from overseas 
    • Select 'Leave to remain' if your full immigration permission is on a BRP card which you applied for in the UK.  
  • You will need to confirm your identity by sending documents with your name and address. You can download a Student Status Letter from your Gradintelligence account, see the Student Enquiry Centre website for further details.  
  • You only need to include the signed third-party consent document if your proof of address (or any of your other evidence) is in the name of you and another person. In this case, they will need to agree to, and sign, the consent form. 
  • You will need to sign the consent form from you and upload it with your supporting documents.  
  • Keep a copy of all the documents, your document checklist and your application form. 

After you have submitted your application, you will upload your documents on the UKVCAS website and make an appointment to enrol your biometrics. There will be an additional charge for some appointments.  

I want to travel outside the UK but don't have a replacement BRP yet

Standard BRP replacement applications have a service standard of up to eight weeks for a decision to be made, although sometimes it can be quicker than this. You should factor in an additional week for the BRP to be issued and sent to you. Therefore, you should allow up to two months before you can expect to have a replacement BRP issued. 

If you have urgent travel plans, you should consider applying for a replacement BRP using the Super Priority service or applying for a single entry BRP replacement visa outside the UK. 

You do not need a BRP to leave the UK, but you will need a BRP or a single entry BRP replacement visa to return. See the information below about applying for a replacement BRP visa to return to the UK 

If you submit a BRP(RC) standard application and then discover that you need to travel urgently, you must either: 

  • withdraw the application and make a new Super Priority application, or 
  • leave the UK and apply for a single entry BRP replacement visa at a Visa Application Centre while you are overseas. Your pending BRP (RC) application will be cancelled and you will need to submit a new BRP(RC) application once you have returned to the UK.  

UKVI will not normally provide any updates or expedite applications which are still within the service standard.  

My BRP is lost or stolen outside the UK

Immediately report the loss or theft to the police in the country where it happened.

If you have lost your BRP, report the loss or theft to the police and obtain a police report, then notify the  UKVI that your BRP has been lost or stolen. The form to do this can be found on the UK Government website. 

Apply for a Replacement BRP visa, which you can use once to return to the UK. The visa does not replace your lost or stolen biometric residence permit. You will need to make your immigration application on the UK government website. Select 'apply for a replacement BRP visa' under the section 'If you're outside the UK'.

When you arrive back in the UK, you will need to apply for a new biometric residence permit within 1 month of your arrival. See the UK Government website. 

If I lose my passport and/or decision letter before I have collected my BRP

If you lose your decision letter after arrival in the UK, before collecting your BRP, if you know where you need to collect your BRP from, just take your passport with the vignette in to collect your BRP, and explain that you have lost the decision letter. 

If you do not know where you are required to collect your BRP from, or if you lose your passport, after arrival in the UK and prior to BRP collection you should use the form on the Gov.UK website to report your situation to UKVI. They will write to you in five working days with instructions telling you what you need to do next. 

What do I do if my old immigration permission was about to expire?

If your leave is valid for less than eight weeks, and you would have been making an extension application in the UK anyway, you can apply to extend your stay in the UK with your new blank passport (without completing either of the forms explained above) completing the appropriate form to extend your leave. We advise you to contact a welfare adviser who can help you with the application.  

We understand that if you are due to leave the UK within eight weeks of losing your visa vignette, you are not required to submit a TOC form. In this case, your old passport (if you still have it), a copy of your visa vignette and/or any letter from UKVI with your permission to be here are evidence of your status. 

Replacing a sticker or stamp in your passport

When you get a new passport from your embassy, you will have to apply to UKVI to transfer your old immigration permission from your old passport. You will not get a new sticker in your passport. This will be replaced with a BRP. This means you will need to attend an appointment at UKVI or a Post Office even if you apply by post to submit biometric information (have your fingerprints scanned and your photo taken). 

You need to submit the following documents: 

  • complete application form TOC 
  • police report and crime reference number (if your passport has been stolen) 
  • photocopy of your old student visa if you have one, or you can write a letter stating the start and end date of the student permission that was in your old passport 
  • alternative form of ID - for example a driving licence and letters addressed to you (eg from the bank,or Queen Mary. See the TOC form for examples). 

If your passport is lost/stolen

If your passport has been lost or stolen in, report it to the police immediately. You should do this at your local police station or online. For details go to the Metropolitan Police website. 

You will need to complete a form explaining what happened. The police will give you a copy and if your passport was stolen they will give you a crime reference number. This is an important document. Please note that you will not get a crime reference number if you have lost your passport or if your passport has been damaged. 

Immediately notify UKVI if it is your BRP which has been lost, stolen or damaged. You will do this on the online form on the UK government website. 

Contact your embassy in London to obtain a replacement passport. If your passport has been stolen, you may need your police report to do this but make sure you keep a copy. 

Your passport is lost/stolen outside the UK: 

Contact your country's embassy or high commission in the country where you are now, to arrange for a replacement passport. 

If your immigration permission was issued on an entry clearance or residence permit sticker (vignette) for the duration of your stay in the UK, you will need to apply for a "Vignette Transfer". See UKCISA's guidance for more information.  

My passport has expired outside the UK

If you receive a new passport when you are overseas, and your immigration permission is on a BRP card, then you will need to complete the MCC form when you return to the UK. You should also inform the Immigration Compliance Team at Queen Mary about your new passport details so that your record can be updated. You can email them: 

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