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Advice and Counselling Service

POLICE REGISTRATION

This page was updated on 20 September 2021

Update:

Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO) - Police Registration in London online registration

OVRO have now introduced an online registration portal to facilitate Police Registration.

To Register with the Police you must first create an online account in your own name using a personal email address and following account activation, you must complete the required details and upload a recent passport sized photo of yourself.

Once you have created an online account and uploaded a photo of yourself, you can book an appointment for Police Registration.

Choose the earliest available appointment and don't worry if it is beyond the seven days of your entry or visa / BRP being issued.

OVRO FAQ's 

OVRO have a recent (September 2021) FAQ response email which covers a number of questions including: questions about the OVRO registration form, issues changing address, gap between booking appointments at OVRO and actual appointment, visa extension applications with pending Police Registration appointments and problems with the OVRO online system)

Please see the Police Registration Covid FAQs [PDF 184KB]

General information on Police Registration

Who needs to register?

When do I register? 

How do I register?

Attending your appointment

What do I need to take with me to register?

Notifying the police of changes

What if I don't register or notify the police of changes within the deadline?

What happens if I was unable to register while police registration was suspended?

What if I am waiting for my appointment with the Police and I need to travel outside the UK?

What should I do if I've lost my registration certificate?

My immigration permission has the wrong conditions - what should I do?

Who needs to register with the police?

Depending on your nationality and the length of time you will be staying in the UK, you may be required to register with the police, as a condition of your immigration permission. This costs £34.

The condition to register will be written on your visa vignette (sticker in your passport), the letter you received with your passport approving your leave (Home Office decision letter) or on your BRP card. It is your responsibility to check this. 

If your spouse, unmarried or same-sex partner, and/or children are granted UK immigration permission as your dependants, they may also be required to register with the police.

The list of countries whose citizens are relevant nationals can be found in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules.

If you are relevant national you will be required to register with the police if:

  • you are granted immigration permission while you are outside the UK that will allow you to come to and stay in the UK for more than six months; or
  • you are granted immigration permission inside the UK that will allow you to stay for more than six months in total from the date you arrived in the UK.

Notes:

  • If you hold a Hong Kong or Macau SAR passport, you are considered to be a relevant national.
  • If you are a stateless person or if you hold a non-national travel document, you are considered to be a relevant national
  • If you are a citizen of more than one country and one of these countries is not on the list in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules, you should not normally be required to register with the police.​
  • Paragraph 326 (2) of the Immigration Rules contains a number of exceptions.

 

When do I register?

We understand that you must register within seven days of arriving in the UK, or if you are required to collect a BRP after arriving in the UK, within seven days of collecting it. You can satisfy the 7 day legal requirement to register with the police by completing the online registration and booking an appointment within 7 days of arrival in the UK or within 7 days of a change in circumstance, even if the first available appointment offered is beyond the 7 days. 

If you are required to self-isolate on arrival to the UK try and book your appointment within 7 days of arrival but choose an appointment date which is after you have completed your period of self-isolation. 

You can register with the police before or after collecting your BRP. If you register before collecting your BRP, you must take your Home Office letter, approving your visa application, which was issued to you abroad. 

You must also register with the police within 7 days of receiving your new BRP if you are granted an extension or new immigration permission in the UK. See "Notifying the police of changes" (below).

How do I register?

In 2021 OVRO introduced a secure online registration portal.

Go to ‘How to register’ and select ‘Go to online portal’ at the bottom of the page

Select ‘Create an account’ at the ‘Log in’ page

PLEASE NOTE: If you are using the online portal for the first time, you will be required to create and validate your account within one hour for which you will receive an email. You can only set up one account per person so you will need to use a different e-mail address for each person registering. Check your Spam/Junk mailboxes if you do not receive the email.

Where you register is determined by the police force area you live in as opposed to where you study. You will be required to enter your London postcode and agree the Terms and Conditions as well as the GDPR Policy. For any new build accommodation whereby the postcode has not yet been registered against the Royal Mail, only in these circumstances a study postcode in London can be entered to get past this stage.

We would advise that you have all relevant documentation to hand before commencing the online registration process as each page within the portal has a time restriction of 20 minutes before it times out.

Documents to have ready:

  • Passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit (also known as BRP)
  • Full Residential address in London including postcode and room number
  • Full Study address including postcode and details of course/tutor contact details/student ID number
  • Overseas Address
  • Marriage details – if applicable

Please enter your details accurately. Check the spelling of your first name and surname carefully.

Troubleshooting August 2021 - Some users are currently facing issues with certain areas of the new online portal which are currently being resolved. In the meantime, please see the information below which should help you register your details: 

  • Tutor Contact:  Please enter the name of the tutor if known. Where you do not have a named tutor you can enter a generic email for your Academic School/department/Student Support Officer 
  • Arrival date - Where you have stayed in the UK to continue your course, but may have taken a break to go on holiday etc. you should enter the date you arrived on your most recent Entry Clearance Visa vignette
  • Change of Address –If you have already got a PRC and only want to update your address, you should create an account and book an appointment which is likely to be at OVRO for the moment. Once the system is enhanced, the system will direct you where to report i.e. a police station

OVRO have reported that some users have had difficulties trying to book an appointment. This is due to the volume of portal traffic at the present moment and this will be resolved over the coming weeks. 

Once you have set up an account and entered your details you will need to upload a UK passport sized photograph (45mm high x 35mm wide) Please follow the UK passport photo rules when uploading your photo https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports

You will then make an appointment using the online calendar. If you acquire Covid-19 symptoms after booking your appointment, or you are required to self-isolate, or you later cannot attend your appointment, please reschedule or cancel your appointment.  

You will pay the £34 registration fee when you attend your appointment.

The registration process will be regarded as fully completed when you attend your appointment and have been issued with a Police Registration Certificate (PRC).

Students transferring to London

It is important that if you are transferring into London from having previously registered with another police force, you select the Transfer In option and read the instructions carefully on the portal. This could save you having to unnecessarily pay the registration fee for a new PRC if you are still in possession of an existing one.  

Attending your appointment

Your appointment will take place at OVRO. Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your appointment.  If you're late, you may not be accepted and will be required to book another appointment.

All students are subject to a security check on arrival. Do not carry any sharp objects and attend the office with minimal baggage. If your are found to be carrying a knife or sharp bladed instrument this will be reported to the police and you could be arrested.

If you acquire Covid-19 symptoms after booking your appointment, or you are required to self-isolate, please reschedule or cancel your appointment. 

Overseas Visitors Records Office

323 Borough High Street

London , SE1 1JL

Get directions with Citymapper

What do I need to take with me to register? 

You may be asked as a student with new registration to take:

  • A credit or debit card (including American Express and Diners Club International) or mobile appt (Apple/Google pay) to pay the £34 fee. Cash is not accepted
  • Passport
  • Proof of address e.g. Tenancy agreement/letter confirmation from university including room number
  • Offer letter from University/CAS or Employment contract
  • Visa/Identity card
  • Home Office visa approval letter or email showing requirement to register (If you applied in the UK)
  • You'll need to show details of your online booking confirmation on your phone or printout when you attend.

If you are required to take any other documents you will be told in the registration process.

You'll need to show details of your online booking confirmation on your phone or printout when you attend. This is confirmed on the OVRO webpage.

Please note: If you have a pre-booked appointment up to and including 30 April 2021, you will need to download and complete the form on the bottom of this webpage and bring it to your appointment. 

After you have registered

You will be given a Police Registration Certificate (PRC) which may be used as an identity document in the United Kingdom (UK). You are advised not to carry it with you but keep it in a safe place together with your Biometric Residence Permit (if you have one) and your passport or travel document. If you are asked to produce the PRC, you will be given 48 hours in which to do so at a police station.

Notifying the police of changes

You must report the following changes within 7 days of the change by accessing your online account and following the instructions.

You must report any of the following changes within seven days:

  • change of address
  • change of college/university/course
  • change of occupation
  • change in marital status
  • new landing conditions (re-entry visa)
  • new visa details (leave to remain visa)
  • new passport details

If you change your residential address you can still report this to a police station within 7 days of the change.

Lengthy absences from the UK

In normally circumstances, if you are planning to have a lengthy absence from the UK (absences of longer than 2 months), you shuold notify OVRO of your planned absence (and provide an address overseas).

However, due to the ongoing situation with the Covid 19 pandemic, OVRO have informed QMUL that you can report any lengthy absences upon your return to the UK, when you notify of any other changes (eg: if you notify of a change of UK address, new visa or passport etc).

What if I don't notify the police of changes within the deadline?

If you have an instruction on your immigration permission to register with the police, registering with the police and keeping your certificate up to date is a condition of your immigration permission. Failure to comply with the conditions of your immigration permission is a criminal offence and this can have serious consequences.

Failure to comply with the requirements of your immigration conditions could result in a fine of up to £5,000, you could be imprisoned for up to 6 months and you could be removed from the UK. Registering or notifying the police of changes after the deadline could also cause problems next time you apply for UK immigration permission.

If you have not registered with the police or notified them of changes within the deadline, it is essential that you do this as soon as possible.

The Overseas Visitors Records Office advise that honesty is the best policy: It is always best to be honest as it is highly likely that the police will consider your circumstances or oversight which resulted in you being late to register or notify them of changes. By resolving issues quickly and honestly you will be able to concentrate on your studies without worrying.

What happens if I was unable to register while police registration was suspended?

Police Registration was suspended for a period of time (from 7 December 2020 to 7 April 2021) due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Students who returned to their home countries during this time, prior to registering with OVRO should not face any difficulties at UK ports upon re-entry for non-registration due to the suspension of the services. You should register within 7 days of re-entering the UK as the service has now reopened. 

You can print OVRO re-opening summary sheet [DOC 65KB] to prove that you were unable to register with the Police. If you are leaving and re-entering the UK, you should carry a copy of this letter in your hand luggage. 

If you were unable to register with the Police while the service was suspended and you now need to extend your student permission before you can get an appointment to register, we recommend that you include a cover letter with your supporting documents to explain the reasons why you were unable to register and to confirm that you will register as soon as you are able once your student permission is granted. You could also include this letter as evidence that you were not able to report a change of circumstances from 7th December.

What if I am waiting for my appointment with the Police and I need to travel outside the UK?

If you need to apply for a Police Registration Certificate or a replacement PRC:

UKVI have confirmed that you will be able to travel whilst you are waiting for your appointment. You should print confirmation of your appointment details and carry them in your hand luggage to show the Border Force Officer, if requested, when you return to the UK. We recommend that you wait until you have the confirmed appointment email before you travel.

If you need to notify the police of changes:

OVRO have issued the attached letter to students and that can be used to present to UKVI Border officials when re-entering the UK as well as including in support of visa applications to the UKVI.

We would recommend printing the letter and carrying this in your hand luggage.

What should I do if I've lost my registration certificate?

If you've lost your police registration certificate, you will need to access your account and follow the instructions.

A Lost, stolen or damaged replacement certificate will incur a fee of £34.

My immigration permission has the wrong conditions - what should I do?

Sometimes, nationals of countries on the list do not have their immigration permission endorsed with a requirement to register with the police. The police can only register you if your immigration permission (your sticker or stamp in your passport, your BRP, or the letter that was issued confirming your grant of immigration permission) requires you to register. Therefore if your immigration permission does not state this, you do not need to do anything as there is no legal requirement for you to register, and you are not in breach of the conditions of your stay by not registering.

Occasionally the Home Office issues immigration permission with an instruction to register with the police even though the student is not a national who is required to register. If your immigration permission requires you to register with the police and you think this is a mistake, follow the instructions in our advice guide 'What to do if things go wrong'. 

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