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

What to do

If your passport or BRP is lost or stolen, how you resolve this depends on what documents are missing and where you are. However, there are some basic steps to follow in all situations:

Check your passport or BRP is definitely lost

Check that the Passport or BRP is definitely lost. Lost property is often handed into the police or on campus. Alternatively, try retracting your steps to see if you can find it.

On Campus lost property is done per building, so please check with the relevant building reception where you think you lost 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 while in transit or you are not sure where exactly the document was lost, Sussex Police have confirmed that you can report it at a local police station even if it was not originally lost in the local area.

When you arrive at the police station, at the front desk you will need to state that you have lost your document and the staff member will take your details and create a report which you will be able to take with you.

Important: Once your BRP is reported as lost, if you find it again it will have been cancelled and therefore you will not be able to use it to travel back into the country.

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

Tell us

Inform our UKVI Compliance team that you have lost your BRP.

Undergraduate and Masters Students:

PHD students:

If you have any travel plans or are currently abroad, please submit a query form to the International Advice team.

Lost passport

If you have lost your passport you will need to contact your Embassy who will advise on the process to obtain a new one. Every country is different and the processes may vary.

Browse a list of embassies in the UK.

Browse a list of embassies outside the UK.

Once you have received a new passport you must let both the University and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) know of these updated details. View UKVI contact details.

Lost biometric residence permit

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

Important: If you have fewer than three months remaining on your visa, you do not need a replacement BRP. However, if you are planning to apply for a Graduate Route visa, you will need to replace your lost/stolen BRP. You may also need to do this if you are thinking of applying for another visa to stay in the UK.

You should first follow the steps in the What to do section, then follow the relevant information for a lost BRP outside the UK or lost BRP inside the UK.

  • Lost Biometric Residence Permit outside the UK

    You will need to apply for a temporary replacement BRP (vignette) before you can re-enter the UK.

    Apply for a temporary replacement visa

    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. Select the option “BRP vignette transfer”, and then a few steps later select “a replacement Biometric residence permit (BRP) visa".

    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.

    A standard application can take up to three weeks to process. Let your School know if you will miss any classes or assessments.

    Important: If you have digital immigration permission and a BRP you still need to obtain a replacement BRP as the online status will not be accepted for re-entering the UK.

    Once you return to the UK

    You will need to apply for a replacement BRP. Follow the same steps as applying for a lost BRP inside the UK.

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

  • Lost Biometric Residence Permit inside the UK

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

    Apply for a replacement BRP

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

    You must do this within three months of losing the old one, otherwise you could be fined and made to leave the UK.

    Details on the cost of the application can be found on the UK Visa and Immmigration website. A standard application can take a number of months to process.

    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.

    You will need to book an appointment at a UKVCAS centre as part of the application.

    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.

    The process takes six to eight weeks from your appointment date and costs £19.

    You can choose to do this at a Core Centre (nearest one to Sussex is in Croydon, South London). Core Centres have some free appointments 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, please submit a query form to the International Advice team.

What to do when you get replacements

Submit your new documents to UKVI Compliance at the University:

For Undergraduates and Master students:

For PhD students:

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

Keeping your documents safe

We often deal with many cases where passports and visas have been lost or stolen – both in the UK and overseas. If you need further support do not hesitate to contact us.

It is better to store it securely where you are staying – for example, in a safe in your hotel. Do not carry your passport or visa with you unless you need it to cross a border.

There is also government travel advice on what to be aware of when travelling to a new country.

See more from During your studies