Abolishment of police registration order for international students in the UK

One step forward towards the internationalisation of education in the UK.

The Government of the UK has undertaken a major alteration in their immigration policy. This is good news for students aspiring to pursue their international education journey in the UK as they will now have one less checkbox on their to-do list. 

Here’s everything you need to know:

Previously a rule was in force that required UK immigrants to report to the local police with their personal details and data related to their stay. On 4th August 2022, this rule was rescinded by the UK government.

Earlier, immigrants including students older than 16 years who were to stay for more than six months in the country, were expected to follow the rule cited above. The registration had to be done with the local police within seven days of their arrival. Locating the office of the nearest police force in an unknown locality and registering themselves was a cumbersome procedure for students who had only just arrived in the UK.

The record of the police registrations on the government website has been archived after the government decision. The rule is described by the stakeholders as an “academic burden for international students”. The immigrants fill in the necessary details in the visa application itself. Therefore, reporting the same data again to the police seemed redundant.

How will this decision affect international students?

For students who are already staying in the UK:

  • If the status of the police registration is available in your biometric residence permit or visa, it won’t be changed. The documents will remain the same.
  • The police registration certificate that you have will not be required as further evidence. You are not expected to retain the certificate.

For newly arrived international students:

  • There is no need to book an appointment for police registration.
  • If you have booked an appointment recently for the registration, you don’t need to proceed further or pay any fees
  • There is no provision for reimbursement of the fee that has already been paid for the registration procedure.
  • You are no longer required to register with the local Police within seven days of arrival in the UK  
  • If you have just received your student visa before the declaration of the removal of the police registration order, it’s possible that your visa will be issued again.

The reaction of the community 

The body of the United Kingdom Council of International Student Affairs (UKCISA), has welcomed this move by the government with open arms. Stakeholders of the council have stated that they had urged the government the removal this rule. This is a big step that is hugely beneficial for the internationalisation of education, removing the physical boundaries of countries around the globe that currently exist. The international higher education community has commended this government decision. Officials are hopeful that this will improve the mental health of international students by reducing stress and smoothing their international education experience.