Lost or stolen passport, visa or BRP

Find out what to do if your travel documents or biometric residence permit are missing.

What to do

If your passport or visa is lost or stolen, how you report this depends on what is missing and where you are.

See:


Lost passport inside the UK

Follow these steps if you have lost your passport or think it’s been stolen.

Check Lost & Found

Check the 24-hour Lost & Found service in York House on campus. Lost documents are often handed in.

Also double-check elsewhere.

Report it to the police

If it was lost or stolen locally, visit your nearest police station as soon as possible. After you fill out a form, you’ll be issued with a Crime Reference Number, which will be important for applying for replacement documents.

If it was lost or stolen in London, the Metropolitan Police do not issue Crime Reference Numbers. Instead you can get a letter from us explaining this.

Tell us

Email international.support@sussex.ac.uk or speak to the front desk of our office.

We can supply you with copies of your passport or visa and tell the right staff at Sussex.

Apply for a new passport or new visa

To apply for a new passport, you will need to contact your embassy in London.

You may need to supply your Crime Reference Number. See a list of embassies in the UK.

You’ll also need to apply for a new visa if you had a visa stamp or vignette inside your old passport.

Once you get your new passport from your embassy, apply to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to transfer your visa to a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). UKVI will not replace your visa with a new vignette but instead issue you with a BRP (which will then be your visa).

Complete a Transfer of Conditions (TOC) Form. The process can take up to eight weeks if you choose a standard application, although a premium option is available.

The cost is:

  • £168 for a standard postal application, which can take up to eight weeks.
  • £758 in-person – pay when booking the appointment online.

Email immigration@sussex.ac.uk if you have any questions.

If your visa was about to expire when you lost it, you may not need to replace it.

If your stay is due to end within eight weeks and:

  • want to stay in the UK for longer, don’t apply to replace your vignette with a BRP – instead make a new immigration application
  • do not intend to stay in the UK, carry your old passport (if you still have it) and/or any letter from the government with your permission to be here as evidence of your immigration status.

Also check


Lost passport outside the UK

You will probably need to apply for a replacement passport before you can re-enter the UK. This can take a few weeks.

Important: Don’t try to travel with a copy of your documents. Border Force Officers will not let you into the UK without the original documents.

Follow these steps.

Tell the police

Report the loss to the local police in the country you’re visiting. Get a crime or case reference number if your passport was lost or stolen.

Let us know

Email international.support@sussex.ac.uk. We will give you information and copies of your passport or visa (if this was in your passport), if needed, along with a supporting letter confirming you’re a Sussex student.

Contact your embassy

If you have lost your passport, contact your embassy in the country you’re visiting. You may need to apply for a replacement.

Apply for a replacement visa

If your visa was in your passport, you must make a new visa application to replace the one that was lost or stolen. You pay the full application fee.

Check the UK government entry clearance guidance on replacing visas.

You don’t need a CAS but you should show evidence of your current student status. We give you this when you contact us.

When you make the application, choose the following options:

  • reason for visit – other
  • visa type – others
  • visa sub type – vignette transfer.

The online form will ask for a CAS number. Write ‘Visa replacement – not needed’.

Explain in the additional information section how you lost your documents. Provide a copy of the police report if it was stolen.

You may also want to include a covering letter to make it clear you are applying for a replacement visa after a loss or theft.

As part of a replacement Tier 4 visa application, you’ll be told to pay the immigration health surcharge (IHS). If you have already paid the IHS as part of your last visa application, you will pay it again but should get a refund.

Tip: If you have already paid the IHS, say this in the additional information and request a refund.

You will get a 30-day vignette if your application is successful. Use this to travel to the UK. You can then collect a biometric residence permit once you are in the UK. The BRP should contain the same conditions and length of leave as your original visa.

It’s possible you may get a vignette with a visa expiry date which is the same as your original visa. If this happens, you won’t need to collect a BRP on arrival in the UK.

Also check


Lost biometric residence permit inside the UK

Follow these steps if you have lost your biometric residence permit (BRP) card, or think it’s been stolen.

Check Lost & Found

Check the 24-hour Lost & Found service in York House on campus. Lost BRPs are often handed in.

Also double-check elsewhere. If you report a lost BRP to UKVI and then subsequently find it, you’ll no longer be able to use it.

Report it to the police

If it was lost or stolen locally, visit your nearest police station as soon as possible. After you fill out a form, you’ll be issued with a Crime Reference Number, which will be important for applying for replacement documents.

If it was lost or stolen in London, the Metropolitan Police do not issue Crime Reference Numbers. Instead you can get a letter from us explaining this.

Tell us

Email international.support@sussex.ac.uk or speak to the front desk of our office.

We can supply you with copies of your passport or visa and tell the right Sussex staff.

Apply for a replacement BRP

You can apply for a biometric residence permit replacement card (BRP RC) online.

You must do this within three months of losing the old one, otherwise you could be fined or your visa could be curtailed.

It can take up to eight weeks to get a BRP RC.

Important: Do not let your leave expire on your visa while you wait for a new BRP. If you do, you will become an overstayer, which is illegal.

If you have fewer than three months remaining on your visa, you do not need a replacement BRP.

Tip: If you need help applying online for a replacement BRP, you can download a guide to answering the questions [PDF 1.6MB].

Booking an appointment

As part of the application, you will be asked to book an appointment to upload documents, scan your passport and record your biometric information, including fingerprints, a photo of yourself and a signature.

You can choose:

  • standard service, which takes six to eight weeks from your appointment date and costs £75.20
  • Super priority service, processed the day after your appointment, costing £875.20.

You can choose to do this at a Core Centre (nearest one to Sussex is in Croydon, South London) or an Enhanced Service Centre (closest to campus is in Jubilee Library, Brighton). Core Centres are free while enhanced ones add at least £60 to the cost.

If you do not upload your documents online you may be charged £45 to process them at the service centre.

Tip: Avoid ‘premium lounge’ appointments, if offered – they cost more but do not speed up the process.

After your appointment, your BRP will be sent to the address listed in your application. You have the option of sending it to us.

Contact us if you need to leave the UK soon and you have not received your new BRP.

Also check:


Lost biometric residence permit outside the UK

You may need to apply for a temporary replacement BRP before you can re-enter the UK. This can take time.

Important: Don’t try to travel with a copy of your documents. Border Force Officers will not let you into the UK without the original documents.

Follow these steps.

Tell the police

Report the loss to the local police in the country you’re visiting. Get a crime or case reference number if you think your passport or visa was stolen.

Let us know

Email international.support@sussex.ac.uk. We will give you information and copies of your BRP, if needed, along with a supporting letter confirming you’re a Sussex student.

Apply for a temporary replacement visa

You must report the loss to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

After you report the loss, your BRP will be cancelled. Even if you find it later, you will still need to apply for a replacement.

You will need to apply for a single entry replacement BRP visa (normally valid for one month), which you use once to return to the UK.

Most Visa Application Centres (VACs) now offer priority services (for an additional fee) to process your application quicker than normal. If you want this option make sure you choose it as part of your application.

See a list of visa application centres outside the UK. You can contact them directly if there are no appointments available.

A standard application can take up to three weeks to process. Let us know if your absence from Sussex is going to cause any academic problems, such as missing exams or deadlines.

Once you return to the UK

When you return, you will need to apply for a BRP Replacement Card (BRP RC) through the UKVI online application form.

You must do this within one month of returning to the UK. If you don’t, you may be fined £1,000.

You must apply for a replacement if you have more than three months left on your visa, even if you plan to leave the UK soon.

If you don’t do this you can be fined or have your visa curtailed. It might also affect future UK visa applications.

It can take up to eight weeks to get a BRP RC.

Important: Do not let your leave expire on your visa while you wait for a new BRP. If you do, you will become an overstayer, which is illegal.

If you have fewer than three months remaining on your visa, you do not need a replacement BRP.

Tip: If you need help applying online for a BRP RC, you can download a guide to answering the questions [PDF 1.6MB].

Booking an appointment

As part of the application, you will be asked to book an appointment to upload documents, scan your passport and record your biometric information, including fingerprints, a photo of yourself and a signature.

You can choose:

  • standard service, which takes six to eight weeks from your appointment date and costs £75.20
  • Super priority service, processed the day after your appointment, costing £875.20.

You can choose to do this at a Core Centre (nearest one to Sussex is in Croydon, South London) or an Enhanced Service Centre (closest to campus is in Jubilee Library, Brighton). Core Centres are free while enhanced ones add at least £60 to the cost.

If you do not upload your documents online you may be charged £45 to process them at the service centre.

Tip: Avoid ‘premium lounge’ appointments, if offered – they cost more but do not speed up the process.

After your appointment, your BRP will be sent to the address listed in your application. You have the option of sending it to us.

Contact us if you need to leave the UK soon and you have not received your new BRP.


If you have travel plans

To avoid having to cancel a trip, don’t make any travel plans until you’ve received your new documents.

You cannot re-enter the UK without a valid passport and appropriate studying visa. You cannot study on a Standard Visitor visa.

If you already have travel plans, speak to an Immigration Advisor or email immigration@sussex.ac.uk.


What to do when you get replacements

Take your new documents to the Student Systems and Records Office in Bramber House so we can scan them.

If you have a Police Registration Certificate, you’ll need to update this with your new documents.

If you have a new passport, you’ll need to fill out a Migrant Change of Circumstances form. This lets the government know you have updated your passport.


Keeping your documents safe

We deal with many cases where passports and visas have been lost or stolen – both in the UK and overseas.

There are thieves in capital cities who target tourists.

Do not carry your passport or visa with you unless:

  • you need it to cross a border
  • you’re required to by police in the country you’re visiting.

It is better to store it securely where you are staying – for example, in a safe in your hotel.

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