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Registering with the police

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When you arrive in the UK, you may need to register with the police – giving information about your address in the UK and the course you're studying.

Do I need to register?

If you need to register, this will be stated in your passport – there will be a sticker or a stamp. Find out more on the Immigration rules page of the UK Visas and Immigration website – click here for the list of countries whose nationals need to register with the police.

How do I register?

  • You normally need to register within seven days of your arrival in the UK. It is a criminal offence not to register with the police if you are required to.
  • Some schools, colleges and universities arrange sessions on campus where you can register with the police. If not, you will need to register at your local police station.
  • To register, you usually need to fill out a Police Registration Certificate form and bring with you:
    • your passport and visa
    • the registration fee (this is £34 and must usually be paid in cash)
    • two passport-sized photographs of yourself
    • a document confirming you are on a UK course (such as your offer letter)
    • proof of your address in the UK (e.g. your accommodation contract, a bill or bank statement).

You will then be given a certificate, which you need to keep and update as appropriate.

If you are unsure what to do, speak to staff at your school, college or university.

Notifying the police of any changes

Throughout your time in the UK, you must report to the police within seven days of the following changes:

  • change of address
  • change of school, college or university
  • change of marital status or birth of children
  • extension of stay granted by UK Visas and Immigration
  • change of passport
  • temporary absence of eight weeks or more from your registered address.

What to do if there are any problems

If you realise that you have failed to register with the police or update your certificate with any changes in time, go to the police station straight away and explain the circumstances. If it was because you were ill, take a letter from your doctor if possible. If you lose your certificate, report this to the police and apply for a new certificate.

Leaving the UK

If you hold a Police Registration Certificate, you need to notify the police when you leave the UK for the last time. Your school, college or university may be able to do this for you. If not, contact your local police station yourself.

Find out more

Click here for more advice from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).