Registering with the police

Who needs to register with the police and how you can do this.

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New Police Registration Portal

As of the 7 April 2021, the Overseas Visitors Records Office has now launched its new online booking portal. This means that you can now use the new online portal to enter all of your visa and immigration details online and book an appointment to register with the police.

The process will require account activation via e-mail address validation in the first instance. It is important that your account is validated within one hour of receiving an e-mail from the portal. As with all e-mails, it is advised that you check your spam/junk mailboxes if an e-mail has not been received.

The first available appointments under the new booking system will be from 4 May 2021. However, we expect that the demand for appointments will be high so you may not be able to secure an appointment sooner.

We understand that some users have experienced some technical issues with the new portal with regards to entering the VAF Reference number, the BRP Reference number and Entry Clearance Vignette and BRP Expiration dates. Please note that we have provided some information below on our webpage under step 5 which explains what you should do to rectify any of these issues should these arise when you try to register.

Pre-booked appointments under the old registration system

Please note that if you have a pre-booked appointment that was made under the old registration system up to and including 30 April 2021, you are advised to attend your appointment as normal with the correct documents, complete the form and bring it with you to your appointment.

For instructions on how to complete the form, we have a dedicated video that you can watch to help you through the process.

Any appointments that are booked for 30 April 2021 onwards under the old booking system will be automatically cancelled and you will need to re-book your police registration appointment using the OVRO's new booking system.

We want to assure you that it has been confirmed that no penalty action will be taken by the Home Office for delayed registration or reporting any change of circumstances. 

New Students

If you are a new student at Goldsmiths and are from a country that requires you to register with the police within 7 days of your arrival and you have never registered with the police before, you will be expected to register with the police. 

The 7-day requirement will only be deemed as being satisfied as soon as an account has been created and all registration details have been submitted online to the OVRO using the new online booking system.

Attending your appointment at OVRO

You will be expected to wear a face covering for the duration of your appointment. You will be asked to remove your face covering for a short moment to enable Registration Officers to confirm your identity.

You can only pay the £34 registration fee by contactless or card payment. Cash will no longer be accepted at OVRO.

Please ensure you consider any Government quarantine restrictions that may apply to you when booking your appointment. This means that you ensure when you book your appointment that you have completed 10 days of self-isolation should this apply to you.

If you become ill with Covid-19 symptoms after booking your appointment, please make sure you reschedule or cancel your appointment. This will help ensure everyone's health and safety as well as making the appointment available to someone else.

It is very important that you take the correct documents otherwise the OVRO will not be able to help you register and you will be asked to book another appointment.

If you are required to register and you don't you could be fined £5,000 and jailed for 6 months. Registering late can count against you next time you apply for a visa. 

Who needs to register

You will need to register if all the following apply to you

  1. If you are aged 16 or over
  2. You are coming to the UK for more than 6 months
  3. You are a national of one of the countries listed below
  4. Your temporary visa (issued in your passport before you arrived in the UK) confirms 'pol registration', or your decision letter (if you extended your visa inside the UK) says that you need to register with the police

You will not need to register if you 

  1. have indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  2. are the partner (spouse, fiancé(e), civil or unmarried partner) of a person settled in the UK
  3. have been granted asylum

Police registration countries

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Belarus
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Georgia
  • Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region)
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Macao (Special Administrative Region)
  • Moldova
  • Morocco
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Peru
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

How to register

Goldsmiths can usually help students starting their course in September to register with the police, however, due COVID-19 and the government guidelines on social distancing, the process has changed. We have put together some information for you to follow.

Step 1: You will need to create an account using the new online booking facility.

You can only set up one account per person so you will need to use a different e-mail address for each person registering. Go to ‘How to register’ and select ‘Go to online portal’ at the bottom of the page

You will then need to select ‘Create an account’ at the ‘Log in’ page.

The portal should come up with a page that looks like this.

Step 2: Validate and activate your account within one hour.

You will receive a confirmation email asking you to verify your email address by clicking on a hyperlink. As with all e-mails, it is advised that you check your spam/junk mailboxes if an e-mail has not been received.

Step 3: When you have verified your email address, you will need to gather all relevant documentation before commencing the online registration process as each page within the portal has a time restriction of 20 minutes before it times out.

We have outlined a list of the documents you should have to hand:

  • 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

Step 4: Select the appropriate type of registration and visa.

If this is your first registration with OVRO in the UK, please select 'New Registration'. If you have previously been registered in the UK, outside of London, please select 'Transfer from another Force.

Step 5: Enter your details

You will be asked to enter your details for the following:

  • Your Personal details
  • Your Contact details
  • Family members
  • Study details
  • Travel details
  • Visa details 
  • Additional information

Things to note when entering your details:

VAF Reference – Not accepting a 6 digit VAF ref. This has now been modified to accept a 6 digit VAF number. You should not need to add any 0’s at the beginning as it is now accepting VAF numbers that have less than 6 digits.

BRP Reference – Not accepting a 6 digit number after the 2-3 letter prefix. This has also been modified to accept a 6 digit number.

Entry Clearance Vignette and BRP expiry dates – Not accepting an expired date. This has been modified to allow you select a past date.

Tutor Contact: This is a new data field for OVRO London and falls in line with data fields used by over 20 other police forces who use same online portal. Please enter the name of the tutor if known. Where students do not have a named tutor they can enter a generic email for the school/college/university or student support services.

Arrival Date: If you have stayed in the UK to continue a course but may have taken a break to go on holiday (for example), you should enter the date you arrived on your most recent Entry Clearance Visa vignette.

Change of Address – if you already have a PRC and you only need to update your address, you should create an account and book an appointment which is likely to be at OVRO for the time being. This may change later on but we will provide further updates on this should things change.

Step 6: Once you are happy with all of your details and ensured that everything is correct and accurate, you can proceed to submit your form. You will then be sent a confirmation email from OVRO.

Step 7: Upload your photograph.

The portal requires the upload of a digital photo and students should ensure they follow the UK passport photo rules when uploading their photo.

The photo should be 45mm high x 35mm wide.

Step 8: Book your appointment.

You can select a date and time that suits you. Once you have selected your appointment slot, you'll be asked to check the details before confirming. Once you have confirmed, your police registration appointment will be booked and you will receive a confirmation email with your appointment details and a checklist of anything that you may need to bring with you on the date of your appointment.

If you need to cancel your appointment you can log back into the portal to reschedule your appointment.

Step 9: Attend your appointment at the OVRO and bring your documents with you.

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.

If you become unwell before the date of your appointment, or you are required to self-isolate, please reschedule or cancel your appointment as soon as possible.

Address for OVRO
The Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO)
323 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1JL

We have provided a list of some of the documents you may be required to show, however your email confirmation should outline what documents are required for your appointment

What you should bring:

  • Your face covering (it is mandatory that you wear your mask before you enter the building at the OVRO, you may be required to remove your face covering for a very short moment during your appointment for identification purposes)
  • Proof of your appointment. You'll need to show your online booking confirmation on your phone or printout when you attend.
  • Your passport (containing your temporary entry clearance visa
  • Your BRP card (your full visa)
  • Proof of address e.g. Tenancy agreement or enrolment letter from the university
  • Offer letter from University/CAS letter (or employment contract if you are not a student)
  • your outcome letter from the Home Office (if you extended your visa inside the UK)
  • your credit or debit card (including American Express and Diners Club International) or mobile appt (Apple/Google pay) to pay the £34 fee for your police registration certificate. Cash is not accepted by OVRO.

At your appointment, they will stamp your passport to show that you have seen them, and will give you a piece of paper called a 'police registration certificate'.

Notifying the police about changes

You must tell the police if any of the details you gave them change, and you will need to have your police registration certificate updated.

The list below tells you which details on a Student visa might change, and how to tell the police if they do.

Anything listed as something to take with you should be original not a copy.

Notifying the police about changes

You must tell the police if any of the details you gave them change, and you will need to have your police registration certificate updated.

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

  • 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.

Anything listed as something to take with you should be an original, not a copy.

Your name

If your name has changed and you already have a police registration certificate, you should report the change within 7 days creating an account on the new online booking system and follow the instructions and book an appointment to attend OVRO.

When you attend your appointment, you will be required to provide evidence of your name change, so you will need to take your new and old passport with you, or deed poll document. Nevertheless, the new online portal should clarify the instructions on what you should bring with you to your appointment.

Your address

If you already have a PRC and only need to update your address, you should create an account using the OVROs new portal and book an appointment which is likely to be at the OVRO for now as they are currently working on a further enhancement in regards to this.

You should do this within 7 days of the change to your address and you will also need to show proof of new address – a tenancy agreement or student enrolment letter should be fine.

The police will not charge you to update your police registration certificate. 

A new visa

If you have a new visa you will need to report this change by logging into your online portal and follow the instructions. You should do this within 7 days of the change.

If required to attend an appointment you will need to take with you:

  • Your police registration certificate
  • Your biometric residence permit (BRP) - this is your full visa
  • Your passport
  • the letter or email from the Home Office, that tells you the outcome of your visa application

The police will not charge you to update your police registration certificate.

A new passport

If you have a passport you will need to report this change by logging into your online portal and follow the instructions. You should do this within 7 days of the change.

If required to attend an appointment, you will need to take with you:

  • Your police registration certificate
  • Your new passport. (If you hold passports from more than one country, you will need to take all of them with you.)

The police will not charge you to update your police registration certificate.

Your marital status

If you enter into a civil partnership, or get married or divorced you will need to report this change by logging into your online portal and follow the instructions. You should do this within 7 days of the change.

If required to attend an appointment, you should take your police registration certificate with you, as well as one of these:

  • a civil partnership certificate
  • a marriage certificate
  • a divorce certificate

If your civil partnership or marriage is to a British citizen, you will also need to take their passport or British birth certificate with you.

The police will not charge you for your new police registration certificate.

Your police registration certificate is lost or stolen

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

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

Your police registration certificate is full

If you need to tell the police about any of the changes listed above but your certificate is full, you will need to report the change using the online portal within 7 days of the change, and book an appointment at the OVRO.

If required to attend an appointment, you will need to take with you

  • The police registration certificate that is full
  • The passport containing your temporary visa, and your new passport if you have one.
  • Your biometric residence permit (BRP) - this is your full visa
  • the letter or email from the Home Office, that tells you the outcome of your visa application

The police will not charge you for your new police registration certificate.

This page was updated on 27 April 2021.