Police registration for international students in the UK

Photo of a LEGO policeman minifigure with

This article about police registration for international students in the UK was written by the Great British Mag content team on 27 September 2019

If you are moving to the UK to study, you may have to register with your local police station as part of your visa requirements. This is a standard requirement of a Tier 4 visa for many students so keep reading to find out who has to register and how to do it.

Which international students need to register with the UK police?

Students who are over the age of 16, have a UK visa lasting longer than six months, are of a nationality that is required to register and do not qualify for exemptions must register with the UK police within seven days of their arrival.

The UK Government states that international students from the nationalities listed below need to register with the police but this is subject to change. To check the most up to date list visit the Government visa’s advice page where it lists the nationalities.

Afghanistan Iran Qatar
Algeria Iraq Russia
Argentina Israel Saudi Arabia
Armenia Jordan Sudan
Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Syria
Bahrain Kuwait Tajikistan
Belarus Kyrgyzstan Tunisia
Bolivia Lebanon Turkey
Brazil Libya Turkmenistan
China Moldova United Arab Emirates
Colombia Morocco Ukraine
Cuba North Korea Uzbekistan
Egypt Oman Yemen
Georgia Palestine Stateless or travelling on a non-national document (i.e. Travel Document)
Hong Kong SAR Peru  

If you need to register with the UK police, it will say so on your entry clearance visa (in your passport), your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or in the correspondence you have received from the Home Office.

When do I have to register with the UK police?

You must register with the UK police within seven days of arriving in the UK. It is important that you do not miss this deadline because it is part of your visa conditions. If you do not register in time you could be fined.

If you arrive at a busy time such as the start of the academic year the police station is likely to have a backlog, so make registration a top priority.

How do I register with the UK police?

Your university will tell you where to go for police registration. Some universities arrange for police officers to come to the campus so that it is more convenient for international students to register. Others require you to visit a particular station.

What do I need to do to register with the police?

Although the exact process differs at each university, you can expect to do the following:

  • Complete an online form on the local police’s website. You will be asked to provide information on documents such as your passport, BRP/visa, UK address details, UK phone number, course details and provide passport style photographs of yourself. Many UK police websites do not allow you to save your progress and return to it later, so be prepared to complete the whole form in one sitting.
  • Book an appointment at your local police station. This can typically be done online.
  • Make sure you have enough money. Police registration costs £34. Not all police stations accept cards, and not all will give you change, so take exactly £34 in cash.
  • Take ID documents to the appointment. Your university and local police station will tell you exactly which documents you need to provide. However, you can expect to take your passport, your BRP, letters from the Home Office, your student enrolment certificate, and proof of a UK address such as a tenancy agreement.

At the police station, you will be asked some questions and your documents will be checked. The officers should be polite and professional to you.

Once your registration is complete, you will be given a Police Registration Certificate (PRC). Keep it in a safe place.

What items do I need to take to the police station?

Don’t forget the following items:

  • Passport
  • Biometric Residents Permit (BRP)
  • Letters from the Home Office
  • Student enrolment certificate
  • Proof of UK address such as a tenancy agreement or utilities bill
  • £34 in cash

What happens if my PRC gets lost or stolen?

If your PRC gets lost or stolen you will need to report it to the police station where you registered and get a replacement, which will cost £34.

Do I have to re-register with the UK police if a move to another university?

If you move from one university to another you have to get your PRC amended by making an appointment. Your new university will tell you which police station you need to visit. All this needs to be done within seven days of you starting at the new university.

Can I travel abroad before I get my PRC?

You can travel abroad, but remember to carry the paperwork from the police station that confirms you have registered for an appointment with your local police station within seven days of your arrival to show at Border Control on your re-entry to the UK.

How long does my PRC last?

Your PRC will last for the duration of your studies. It is important to keep it up to date; if any of your details change such as your address, marital status, place of study you must get your PRC updated within seven days of the changes. If you do not do that you will be in breach of your visa.

It does not cost anything to update your PRC. The police will tell you what changes they need to be notified of when they give you your PRC.