Who needs to register as a foreign national?
Find out more below about who needs to register with us, who is exempt and how to get a police registration certificate (PRC).
If you don’t register with the police when you're required to do so, that is an offence under Section 26(1) (f) of the Immigration Act 1971. You could be fined up to £5,000 and/or put in prison for six months.
Your current or any further application for stay in the UK could also be affected.
Do I need to register with the police?
If you need to register with the police on your arrival in the UK, it should be written on your entry visa vignette, biometric residence permit or Home Office letter or email approving your application for leave. We can’t register you if you don’t have a requirement in writing on any of these documents.
You’ll need to register with us if you’re 16 or older, and are from one of these countries:
*Note: A person who holds a passport issued by the Special Administrative Region of either Hong Kong or Macao is classed as a Chinese national and needs to register.
Some 30-day visas require you to register with the police.
If this is the case it will be written on the visa. It may say:
- ‘Pol Reg’ or
- ‘Police Registration’ or
- ‘Register with Police in seven days of UK entry’
Please check to be sure.
If you are already registered but have moved to another area
Who doesn't need to register with the police?
If you have dual nationality with one country in the list above and one country that is not, you don’t need to register with the police, unless when you applied for your visa you used your passport from one of the countries listed.
Likewise, you don’t need to register if you:
- have permission to live permanently in the UK
- are the family member of an EEA citizen
- are visiting on a temporary visa – unless stated in the vignette – as one of the following:
- an agricultural worker
- a private servant in a diplomatic household
- a minister of religion, a missionary or a member of a religious order
- the 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
- an accepted asylum seeker
If any of the above apply to you and you’ve been given a requirement to register with the police, this may be a mistake. You can contact the Home Office to ask about the requirement it gave you.
What is a police registration certificate?
A police registration certificate (PRC) is a document that proves you’ve complied with the requirement of your visa. We’ll issue one to you at the end of your registration process.
Your PRC may be accepted as proof of identity in the UK. However, we don’t recommend you carry it with you. Please keep it in a safe place with your passport and travel documents.
If a police officer asks you to produce your PRC, you then have 48 hours to show your PRC at any police station.