Some students coming to the UK with a Tier 4 (or 11-month Short-Term Study) visa are legally required to register with the police within specific timescales.
How to register for the first time
These instructions are for students who do not already have a police registration certificate.
Where do I go to register?
Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO), 323 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1JL
Check for current opening times on the OVRO website.
Be prepared to wait as it can be busy, especially in the autumn term. If the police cannot register you on the first day you go, they will tell you to come back on a specific date at a specific time.
What do I take with me?
All students must take the following:
- £34 registration fee, which can be paid using cash, sterling travellers cheques or most credit and debit cards
- A police registration form which you must complete on a computer and then print.
- 1 passport photo measuring 45mm x 35mm, which must be pasted to the completed form before attending OVRO.
For students with a visa issued OUTSIDE the UK:
- Your 30-day visa vignette (sticker in your passport) and the letter you received with it from UK Visas & Immigration, or
- Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) once you collect it in the UK, and the letter from UK Visas & Immigration that you received with your passport.
For students with a visa issued INSIDE the UK:
- Your Biometric Residence Permit
- The letter you received with your passport.
Keeping your police registration certificate up to date
These instructions are for students who already have a police registration certificate.
Students must report changes to any of the information on their police registration certificate within specific timescales.
If you already have a police registration certificate and then get a new visa, you may be able to ask the police to update your existing certificate rather than registering again and getting a new one.
See 'How do I update my police registration certificate?' below.
Do I need to register?
Students are more likely to be required to register if they are of particular nationalities (see the UK Government website) and have a visa which lasts for more than six months.
The method of checking if a student is required to register with the police depends on where their visa was issued.
Visa issued OUTSIDE the UK
If your visa vignette (sticker) in your passport or the accompanying letter states ‘police registration’ or ‘register/report to police’, you must register with the police (or report to the police to update your existing police registration certificate, if you have one).
Visa issued INSIDE the UK
If your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or the letter you receive with your passport states ‘police registration’ or ‘register/report to police’, you must register with the police (or report to the police to update your existing police registration certificate, if you have one). It is important to keep the letter you receive with your passport.
When do I register?
If a student is required to register with the police (or report to the police to update their existing police registration certificate, if they have one), they must do so within specific timescales.
Visa issued OUTSIDE the UK
Students with a visa vignette (sticker) in their passport which is valid for 30 days must either register within 7 days of arriving in the UK, or within 7 days of collecting their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after arriving in the UK.
Visa issued INSIDE the UK
Students must register within 7 days of receiving their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and passport.
How do I update my certificate?
You must report to the police if any information on your police registration certificate changes, so that they can update it.
- If you move to a different address (even if it just a change of room number), you must report to your local police station within 7 days.
- If you already have a police registration certificate and then get a new visa which requires you to register with the police, you must report to OVRO within 7 days. If your police registration certificate was issued outside of London, you will need to take all of the documents required for students who are registering for the first time, although you will not need to pay the fee. Note that if you have a certificate from a previous stay in the UK, but have not been in the UK for over 12 months, you will need to register again and will not be able to update your existing certificate.
- If your name, nationality, passport/travel document or marital status changes, you must report to OVRO within 8 days.
Do I need to carry my certificate?
You do not need to carry your police registration certificate in your day-to-day life in the UK.
- You will need to provide a copy when you enrol onto your course at UAL (or after you have obtained one).
- If you travel in and out of the UK, you will need to show your police registration certificate.
- If you need to extend your visa, or you apply to switch to a different visa category, you will need to submit your police registration certificate with your application.
Lost, stolen or damaged certificates
You will need to go back to OVRO and register and pay the fee again.
What happens if I do not register (or update my existing certificate)?
You would be breaking the conditions of your visa. In some cases, the UK Government can remove you from the UK, refuse future immigration applications and/or not allow you to return to the UK for a certain period.
You should report to the police as soon as possible to explain your reason for being late and ask to register (or update your existing police registration certificate if you have one).
The Student Advice Service can help with any questions you have about registering with the police.