In order for the educational institution to be acceptable, the institution must be:
- a Tier 4 sponsor
- on the Knowledge of life (KoL) accredited college database
- on the Euro educational establishment database
Otherwise, there should be independent evidence that it is publicly funded or otherwise accredited.
The Home Office has confirmed in their response to a freedom of information (FOI) request, that the two databases have not been maintained since 2013, and so even if an institution appears on one of the two databases, it is not necessarily the case that the institution will satisfy the criteria specified in the directive.
If they are not on any database, the Home Office will accept evidence from you that the institution is either publicly funded or otherwise accredited.
Registration certificates can be issued immediately if you apply in person at the Home Office's Croydon premium service centre. You must make an appointment in advance. However, there are very few slots available for EEA applications. Alternatively, you can apply by post. The fee for either application is £65.
You can ask the Home Office to return your passport if you need to travel, but make sure that you allow plenty of time (at least two weeks) for the passport to be located and sent back to you before your trip.