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International Student Visa Advice Team

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London School of Economics and Political Science

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Passports and visas: lost, stolen or getting a new one

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What do I do if my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) was lost/stolen in the UK?

Your BRP is your evidence of your right to be in the UK.  We strongly advise that you keep this safe and do not use it as evidence for proof of age or carry it with you on a daily basis to avoid it being lost or stolen.  

  1. Report the loss/theft to the Police.  They will no longer provide a crime reference number for lost BRPs, but you will be able to declare that you have done this.
  2. Report the loss/theft to the Home Office by filling in their online form.
  3. Apply for a replacement BRP using the BRP (RC) form.  You will need to apply within three months if it was lost/stolen. The Home Office advise that it takes eight weeks for an application to be processed.  This is a straightforward application form but if you have any questions about the application, you can email us or come to drop-in to ask your questions.
  4. Bring your new BRP to the Student Services Centre so that the Registry can update your records.

If your immigration permission was about to expire (within 4 weeks of you losing your passport or ID card)  you don't need to apply on TOC or on the BRP (RC) form and you can make a new application to extend your stay in the UK.

For guidance go to:

Applying for a Tier 4 visa in the UK

Can I get my new BRP quicker than the publicised eight weeks processing times?

If you need your new BRP urgently, the Home Office have now confirmed it is possible for all BRP holders to apply at a Premium Service Centre at an additional cost.

If you have already applied by post, it is usually not possible to get your application expedited unless it is for urgent travel  e.g. a family emergency. We may be able to assist on a case-by-case basis. However, we are still unable to guarantee you will receive your BRP in time for you to travel and you may lose the cost of your flight.

What do I do if my passport was lost/stolen in the UK?

  1. Report it to the police. You can do this at your local police station in the UK Find your local police station in London or you may be able to report this online Reporting crime online.You will get a crime reference number. This is an important document. You may need this to get a new passport and you will need it to obtain new student immigration permission. The UK Police will no longer provide a report for lost passports.
  2. Apply for a new passport at your embassy.  The Foreign & Commonwealth Office list the addresses and contact details for all embassies in the UK on their website: embassies in the UK
  3. If your student visa was in the form of a sticker in your passport, you need to apply to transfer your old visa into your new passport. If your visa was in the form of a BRP card you need to apply for a new card. The application processes are different. See below.
  4. Bring your new passport and BRP to the Student Services Centre so that the Registry can update your record.

Replace a sticker in your passport

To replace the visa in your passport, you need to fill out an application form - the Transfer of Conditions 'TOC' form and pay an application fee. As part of this application you will need to provide your biometric information and obtain a new BRP card. Postal applications cost £223 and can take several months to be processed. If you apply in person, you can get your passport back on the same day and your BRP card will be posted to you within a few weeks. In person applications cost £723.

You can download the application form and guidance from here.

What do I do if my passport expires when I'm in the UK?

Contact your embassy in London to get information on how to apply for a new passport.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office list the addresses and contact details for all embassies in the UK on their website:

Foreign embassies in the UK

You must apply before your old passport expires.

IMPORTANT: When you obtain a new passport, you must bring it to the Student Services Centre for Registry to update your student record.

The Home Office does not require you to apply for a new visa if your expired passport with the visa was returned to you.  Instead, you will need to carry both  your new and old passports when you travel. Further information can be found on the Home Office web pages:

Transfer your visa to a new passport

However, if you plan to work in the UK, rent in the private sector or your previous passport was retained by your embassy,  you will need to apply for a Transfer of Conditions. See the information on applying for a replacement visa in the UK.

What do I do if my passport/BRP card was lost/stolen outside the UK?

IMPORTANT: If you are a non-visa national and can enter the UK at the border without applying first, you should not attempt to enter the UK as a Standard Visitor  (tourist) as it is likely to affect your ability to continue your studies.  Please read all the steps below.

Step 1

Report your passport and/or BRP lost or stolen to the local police and obtain a police report.  You may need this to apply for a new passport and you will need this to apply for a replacement visa.

If your visa was in the form of a sticker in your passport you will need to apply for permission to return to the UK

Step 2

Contact your embassy to obtain a temporary passport to return to the UK.  Embassies have different processes to enable you to travel so contact your embassy to find out what you need to do.

Step 3

Apply for permission to return to the UK. What you need to do depends on whether your visa was a sticker in your passport or a BRP card.

Replace a sticker in your passport

  • If you still have the passport with the vignette and are applying to replace the vignette, you may be able to choose the replacement vignette option.
  • If you do not have the passport with the original visa, you will need to make a fresh Tier 4 (General) application. You will need to complete the application form and apply again for permission to return to the UK in the same way that you applied for a visa to come to the UK. You will have to pay the full application fee but you do not need a new CAS.  You may need to show that you are still a student at LSE.  Ideally this will be an original letter from LSE or you can print off your certificate of registration from LSE For You. You can read the internal guidance on the Home Office website:

Home Office Entry Clearance Guidance Basics

 You will need your police report and evidence that you are still a LSE student.

Overseas Application form guidance

Replace a lost BRP

You need to report this immediately using the online form.  Your card will be cancelled and you will need to apply for permission to enter the UK by completing the replacement vignette application form and applying at the British Embassy.  Check details about how to do this at:

Home Office Applying for a Replacement BRP

When you return to the UK, you will then need to apply for a replacement BRP. See the information about about how to do this.

Step 4

When you return to the UK with a new passport and/or BRP card bring this to the Student Services Centre for registry to update your student record.

Help from LSE

If you are stuck overseas and have lost your passport or BRP and are not sure what to do, contact us using our webform and mark your message as urgent. 

ISVAT Online Query form

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