What to do if you lose your visa or passport abroad

Whilst studying over here in the UK, we're sure that there will be many of you taking the opportunity to travel and explore. Not just the other parts of the UK, but across Europe too. And why not? There is a wide range of culture, history, and places to see right on your doorstep. Take advantage of it!


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One aspect of your trip that you shouldn't be quite so relaxed about is making sure your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and passport safe. They are your tickets back into the UK, so look after them! However, if something does go wrong, and either your BRP card or passport do get lost or stolen outside of the UK, we've got some top tips on what to do.


Step 1 

Report your stolen BRP card or passport to the local police, and get an official police report. You will need this to apply for a replacement visa, and may need it when applying for a new passport. If your visa was simply 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. We recommend that you find and make a note of these contact details; telephone number and address, before you travel, just in case.


Step 3

Apply for permission to return to the UK. How to do this will depend on the format of your visa, i.e. whether it was a sticker in your passport, or a BRP card.

Lost passport;

If you have lost your passport, with the visa sticker in it, you will need to make a new Tier 4 (General) application. You need to complete the application form and apply again for permission to return to the UK in the same way that you applied for your visa when you first came to study in the UK. You will have to pay the full application fee again, but you do not need a new CAS.  You will also need your police report, detailing the loss of your passport, and evidence that you are a student at your university

Lost BRP card;

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 a new application form and applying at the British Embassy. When you do return to the UK, you will need to apply for a replacement BRP card.


Step 4

When you return to the UK, be sure to update your university of your new passport or BRP card details.


Your university will likely have a dedicated office and advisors to help support you with visa and passport issues, such as them getting lost or stolen, so make sure you familiarise yourself with the best contact details.