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If your application is successful, the Home Office will return your documents and issue you with immigration permission.

Applying outside the UK

Your passport and documents may be posted to you or you may need to travel to the centre or section to collect your documents and passport.

When you receive your documents check all the details on your sticker and any letters are correct. If you notice an error, see the section “Correcting an error” (below).

Six months or less

If you are granted six months of immigration permission or less your immigration permission will be granted as a sticker in your passport

More than six months

You will be granted immigration permission as a sticker in your passport, but this sticker will only be valid for 30 days to allow you to enter the UK.

You will also have a letter of decision which explains the conditions and length of your immigration permission. Keep this letter safe.

The 30 days within which you must enter the UK will start on one of these dates (whichever is the latest):

  • one month before the course start date as stated on your CAS
  • 7 days before your intended date of travel as stated by you on your application form
  • the day your immigration permission is issued

If you do not travel to the UK during this 30 day period on the sticker, it will expire. You will need to apply for a new one if you still wish to travel to the UK.

When you travel to the UK

When you travel to the UK, a Border Force Officer at the airport/seaport/Eurostar terminal will ask to see your decision letter (if you are granted more than six months of immigration permission) and your immigration sticker.

They may also want to see the supporting documents you used in your application – it’s a good idea to keep these documents in your hand luggage.

If the Border Force Offer allows you to enter the UK, they will stamp your sticker with their “Immigration Officer” stamp.

Collecting your BRP

If you have been granted immigration permission, which is longer than six months, you will need to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arriving in the UK. It is your BRP which confirms your immigration permission and all of the conditions attached to it. 

You will have to collect your BRP from a Post Office, which you will have selected in your online Tier 4 application form. You need to take your passport and decision letter with you. If you do not collect your BRP within ten days of arriving in the UK you may have to pay a fine and/or your visa may be cancelled.

Warning: Do not travel outside of the UK until you have collected your BRP.


If you lose your passport before you collect your BRP, or you lose your decision letter and don’t know which Post office to go to, you need to notify the Home Office online, and they will tell you what to do. You can read more information about how immigration permission is issued on the UKCISA website.

Collecting your BRP - 16 and 17 year olds

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you will need a staff member at Queen Mary to collect your BRP on your behalf. You will need to take your decision letter and your passport to the Global Engagement Office (CB105 Queens Building).Please contact the Global Engagement Office by email or telephone +44 (0) 2078826530 for more details about the process. 

Is your immigration permission correct?

The Home Office will usually grant additional time before and after your studies. How much additional time you receive will depend on the length of your studies, using the dates on the CAS.

Length and type of programme of studies

If applying outside the UK, length of permission to be granted before start of studies

Length of immigration permission to be granted after studies

12 months or more

1 month

4 months

6 months or more, but less than 12 months

1 month

2 months

A pre-sessional course less than six months long

1 month

1 month

Other course less than six months long

7 days

7 days

If you are re-sitting or interrupting your programme, it is our understanding that the Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer should calculate the total length of your programme when deciding how much additional time to grant. So they can do this, the original start date of your programme must be detailed in your CAS (under the ‘Evidence provided’ field).

Correcting an error

How to correct an error is explained in our advice guide 'What to do if things go wrong' - see the section called 'There is an error with my Tier 4 permission'. 

Registering with the Police

If you have been granted immigration permission that is more than six months long, you may be required to register with the police. There are more details about registering with the Police, including special arrangements for police registration at the start of the academic year, on the Advice and Counselling Service website.

Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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