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Steps to take in all cases:

If a staff member has suffered the loss/theft of either their passport containing their visa or their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), they must immediately do the following:

  1. Contact the police in the country they are currently resident and report the incident. They must ensure they obtain a police report or a crime/case reference number.
  2. Contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Full contact details and guidance on how to report the loss or theft can be found on the UKVI webpages.
  3. Contact the Compliance Team (who will notify the staff member's department/institution).

Depending if they are inside the UK, outside the UK and if they held a visa or a BRP, there are different steps the staff member must then follow.

Loss/theft inside the UK

Passport/Visa

If the staff member held a passport with a visa contained inside it (known as 'Entry Clearance'), after they have informed the necessary authorities and individuals (as above), they must first make contact with their local Embassy to obtain a replacement passport.

After they have obtained a new passport, they then need to make an application to replace their lost/stolen visa. A replacement visa will take the form of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and they will not receive a replacement visa inside their passport. In order to obtain a BRP which will replace the lost/stolen visa, they must complete the following application form:

It can take up to 8 weeks to obtain a new BRP and the staff member may not be able to travel outside the UK during this time.

Biometric Residence Permit

If the staff member held a BRP that was lost or stolen and they are inside the UK, after they have informed the necessary authorities and individuals (as above), they must apply for a new BRP within 3 months of the date it was lost or stolen. In order to obtain a replacement BRP, they must follow the guidance at this link:

It can take up to 8 weeks to obtain a new BRP and the staff member may not be able to travel outside the UK during this time.

Further guidance on this process can be found on the UKVI webpages.

Loss/theft outside the UK

If the staff member is outside the UK, and they held either a passport containing a visa or a BRP and this has been lost or stolen, they must first inform the necessary authorities and individuals (as above). If their passport has also been lost or stolen, they must first obtain a new passport/travel document before applying for a new UK visa.

As they are outside the UK, they cannot repalce their original visa/BRP until they have returned to the UK. Therefore, in order to gain re-entry to the UK they must hold a 'single entry visa', which can be obtained as follows:

  • The staff member must apply online.
    • If they held a visa inside their passport, the replacement visa type they must apply for is 'vignette transfer' (see screenshot for the correct application option); or
    • If they held a BRP, the replacement visa type they must apply for is 'BRP replacement' (see screenshot for the correct application option).
  • Where prompted to enter 'additional information' on the online application form, the individual must state:
    • They are applying for a single entry visa to gain re-entry to the UK following the loss or theft of their passport/visa/BRP.
    • The circumstances of the loss/theft.
    • The crime reference number they were provided by the police.

Once the visa has been issued, it will be valid for one month only during which time the staff member must seek re-entry to the UK. Further information on single entry visas can be found in the UKVI Entry Clearance Guidance.

Upon return to the UK, the staff member must apply for a replacement BRP within 1 month. Full details on this process can be found in the 'Loss/theft inside the UK' section above.