The Overseas Visitors Registration Office (OVRO) in London has reopened and is now taking online bookings following a temporary suspension of services due to COVID-19.
Students with the police registration requirement on their visa are now able to book appointments on the OVRO website. Attendance is by appointment only as visits to OVRO are not permitted due to social distancing rules. You must book an appointment online first.
Registering with the police
Who is required to register with the Police?
Nationals of certain countries are required to register with the police if in the UK for longer than 6 months.
You will be required to register with the police if you are from:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yemen. (This list is correct at the time of writing and may change.)
You do not need to register if you have dual nationality with one of these countries and a country that is not on the list.
If on a previous visit to the UK you registered with the police, you must register again if you have been absent for more than 12 months.
How will I know I need to register with the police?
If you or your dependents are required to register with the police, the words ‘The holder is required to register with the police’ or ‘Register/report to the Police’ will be printed either on:
- The visa letter
- The visa vignette (sticker in your passport)
- The reverse of your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card
If you think you or your dependants need to register but have not been asked to then please contact Student Advice.
Why do I have to register with the police?
If you are required to register and do not register this can lead to:
- A £5,000 fine
- A prison sentence
- Recommendation of deportation
- A ten-year ban on entering the UK
How to register with the Police
If you are required to register with the police and live in London, you must book an appointment to register at the Overseas Visitors Registration Office (OVRO).
You must book an appointment within 7 days of your arrival in the UK or if you have extended your visa in the UK, within 7 days of receiving or collecting your new BRP card. You must not delay your registration.
You may need to wait some time before your appointment.
If you live outside London you must register at your local police station instead, though you must observe quarantine first. Use the Find your neighbourhood search tool on the Police.UK site to find a station near to you.
We assume that most International Students studying at the University of Westminster will be studying in London and need to apply to OVRO.
Booking an Appointment at OVRO
You will need to create an account on the Online Portal and for this you will need your Post Code (where you live) and an email address. You can only use an email address once so if you are booking for your dependants you will need an email account for each dependant. You will be sent an activation email. Once you have an account you can log in and out so can take a break from the form and resume later.
You can then specify the type of visa you have. Visa types are broken down into Student, Employee or Non-Employee. If you are here on a Student Visa you will confirm the Student Visa.
You will be asked for your name, nationality, date of birth, gender, town/place of birth, country of birth, address in the UK, UK telephone number, address in your home country, name of an employer in your own country (if you have one), occupation in your own country, family members, name of the university, tutor contact, name of your course, course start date and course end date, your sponsor which could be your parents or an organisation but you can add not applicable (N/A) if you are supporting your own studies, university ID number, length of studies in the UK, passport details, confirmation that you have arrived in the UK, date of arrival, port of arrival (such as the name of the airport), your vignette (sticker in your passport) information, BRP card information (if you have one). When you submit your online form you will then receive a time and date to attend your registration appointment.
Where is OVRO?
The Overseas Visitors’ Records Office (OVRO) is on the Ground Floor, Brandon House, 323 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JL. The nearest underground station is Borough on the Northern Line.
The OVRO website explains the booking process, what to bring, when to arrive, when to update your certificate and provides a useful map.
If you live outside of London and are applying with your local Police Force you will not have the same process and are likely to be asked to complete a paper form to register.
The first time you register with the police at OVRO you will be told what to bring with you:
- Take evidence that you need to register which is normally the wording included in either your decision letter, your initial one-month vignette (sticker in your passport) or your BRP with wording indicating that it is a requirement for you to register *
- Proof of address eg Tenancy agreement/accommodation letter confirmation from university including room number
- Your University Offer letter/Email and your CAS Email
- Some people will need to take a completed online registration form if your appointment was organised before the new system for booking appointments was introduced in April. You must complete this online and then print the form. OVRO will not accept forms filled in by hand. If you are applying at a local Police Station they may have a different registration form
- Take your original passport (containing your current or last UK entry clearance visa) and
- Your BRP card if you have collected it though if your BRP is late arriving and you need to register within 7 days you can register without it
- £34 registration fee (payable by cash or card. OVRO can now accept payments made by American Express, Diners Club International and through most mobile payment applications such as Apple Pay and Google pay)
- If applying at OVRO you will be required to show details of your online booking confirmation on your phone or printout when you attend
*If you do not have evidence that you have been asked to register but you are here in the UK for more than six months and you are a national from a country listed above then please contact Student Advice to find out what you should do next.
Once you have your registration certificate:
Keep it safe and keep it up to date. If your document is lost or stolen or damaged you need to apply for a replacement and pay the application fee again.
The following changes need to be reported to OVRO(if you live in London or your local Police station if you live outside London) within 7 days and altered on your Police Registration Certificate. Failure to report changes is a breach of your visa conditions and can result in later problems with UK Immigration so please keep your Certificate up to date:
- any extension of your visa or changes to your passport details
- any changes to your BRP
- any change to your name
- any change in marital status
- If you change your address you must report this to your local police station (nearest to where you live), not to OVRO. Take your Police Registration Certificate and evidence of your address so that they can update your PRC
You also need to fill in the Migrant Change of Circumstances Form to report all these changes, except an extension of your visa, to the Home Office.
For more details please see the Gov.uk website's notification of change of circumstances form.
Note: If you need to extend your visa in the UK you are required to provide an up-to-date Police Registration Certificate with your visa application. If you have not kept your Police Registration Certificate up to date your visa could be refused or curtailed.