Police Registration: Foreign
nationals face long delays
to secure appointments

The Metropolitan Police has issued a statement on their website informing visa holders that the next available appointments for police registration are not until December 2022 or January 2023.

The temporary measure is in place whilst the police clear the backlog of overseas nationals needing to register. Foreign nationals who are required to register with the police are advised to book the earliest available appointment and should not create multiple accounts or submit multiple forms as this could further delay your registration.

Police registration at the Overseas Visitors Records Office (OVRO) was previously suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the service has resumed police have been busy tackling a high volume of customers under social distancing measures, and as a result overseas nationals are having to wait much longer than usual to secure an appointment slot.

No penalty action will be taken against individuals as a result of earlier appointments not being available. If you have further changes whilst waiting to attend your appointment, you are advised to wait to report these at your appointment.

Who needs to register with the police?

Under UK immigration rules, certain foreign nationals are required to register with the police shortly after arriving in the UK or after getting permission to stay for longer in the UK.

You will usually need to register if all of the following apply:

  • You are 16 or over
  • Your visa (or permission to stay in the UK) is for longer than 6 months
  • You are a citizen of a listed country

You do not need to register with the police if you have permission to live permanently in the UK, or are a family member of an EEA citizen. You are also exempt from police registration requirement if you’ve got permission to stay in the UK as:

  • A seasonal agricultural worker
  • A private servant in a diplomatic household
  • A minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
  • The partner (spouse, fiancé(e), civil or unmarried partner) of a person settled in the UK
  • A person with access rights to a child resident in the UK
  • The parent of a child at school
  • Someone who has been given asylum.

You can find out if you need to register by checking your visa vignette sticker in your passport if you applied for a visa from outside the UK, or by checking your visa approval letter from the Home Office if you applied from within the UK.

After registering, migrants are issued with a Police Registration Certificate (PRC), a document which proves the holder has complied with the requirements of their UK visa. Migrants are required to keep their PRC for the duration of their stay in the UK, and must inform the police of any changes to their circumstances, such as a change of address or if they have been granted a new visa.

How to register

To register, you will need to attend an appointment at the police station for your area and pay the £34 fee. Where you register is determined by where you live as opposed to where you work or study.

You will need to bring:

  • 2 recent passport size colour photographs
  • Your passport
  • Your visa ‘vignette’ (sticker in your passport), if you applied outside the UK
  • The letter you got from the Home Office when your application was approved, if you applied inside the UK
  • Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), if you have one.

At your appointment, the police station will record information such as your name, date and country of birth, your nationality, your address in the UK and the date you arrived, the address of your employer or education provider in the UK, and what permissions are granted with your visa, including how long you can stay.

Speak to an immigration advisor

If you have any questions about obtaining a Police Registration Certificate, or if you need support with any aspect of your UK visa application, Smith Stone Walters can help.

To speak to a qualified immigration advisor, please contact us today.

Share story
Back to top of page