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Biometric Residence Permits

Biometric Residence Permits

Biometric Residence Permits are a form of identification which non-EEA nationals will get if they apply for a visa lasting longer than six months, or apply for an extension to a visa beyond six months.

Get in touch with our client care team on 0121 667 6530 to find out more about Biometric Residence Permits and whether you need one. Our immigration lawyers in Birmingham can organise an appointment with you face-to-face, over the phone or via Skype.

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What are Biometric Residence Permits?

The Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a form of identification which you will receive if you apply for a visa which will last longer than six months, or if you are extending a visa beyond six months.

You do not need to apply separately for a BRP – you will get one automatically if your visa or immigration application is approved.

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What do I Need to Know About the UK Biometric Residence Permits?

The Biometric Residence Permit is a form of identification which includes key information about the person.

The BRP includes:

  • Name, date of birth and place of birth
  • Fingerprints and a photo of the person
  • The person’s immigration status and any conditions of the person’s stay
  • Whether the person can access public funds, including health services

The BRP can be used to confirm your identity, right to study or work in the UK, right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to.

If you are applying for a visa from within the UK, the cost is £19.20. If you are applying from outside the UK, the fee is included in the overall application cost.

Who Will Get a Biometric Residence Permit UK?

You do not need to apply for a biometric residence permit separately. If your visa application requires you to have a biometric residence permit, you will receive one automatically (after you have given your biometric information).

You will get a BRP in the following circumstances:

  • You apply to come to the UK for longer than six months
  • You extend a visa beyond six months
  • You transfer visa to a new passport
  • You apply to settle in the UK

You could also receive a BRP when you apply for certain Home Office travel documents.

If your BRP doesn’t have a National Insurance number printed on it, you will need to apply for a National Insurance Number if you do not already have one and you’re planning to work, claim benefits, apply for a student loan or pay class 3 voluntary National Insurance contributions.

How do I Provide Fingerprints and a Photograph?

As part of your visa application, you will be asked to provide your fingerprints and a photograph – this is your biometric information. You will need to:

  • Have a digital photo taken of your face
  • Put your fingers on a glass screen to have your fingerprints taken
  • Provide your signature (or explain why you cannot)

The appointment is a short one, lasting no longer than five minutes. You will not need to remove a head covering if you are wearing one for religious or medical reasons.

Where you provide the information will depend on the nature of your visa application. If you are applying from outside the UK, you will be asked to go to an official visa application centre.

If you are applying from within the UK, you will usually need to provide your information at one of the following:

  • A UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point
  • A Service and Support centre (SSC)
  • A Post Office branch

Bear in mind that if you are applying to extend your stay or switch to a different visa, you must be in the UK to provide your biometric information.

Getting your Biometric Residence Permit With UK Application

If your application was made from within the UK, your biometric residence permit will be sent to you via a courier service. Typically, you will receive it within 7 to 10 days of getting your decision letter from the Home Office (as long as you have been given permission to remain in the UK).

The biometric residence permit will be sent to the address which you gave in your application. If you would like your BRP to be sent to another address, it is possible to request this in your application.

If your BRP does not arrive after 10 days of receiving your decision letter, you need to report it online.

You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your full name, date of birth and nationality
  • An email or postal address
  • Your decision letter

After you have reported this information the Home Office will email you within 5 working days, advising you on what you need to do.

It is also possible to nominate someone else to report your biometric residence permit has not arrived, such as a legal representative or a charity worker.

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Getting your Biometric Residence Permit With Non-UK Application

You will need to collect your BRP when you arrive in the UK. The decision letter will tell you whether you need to collect your BRP from a named Post Office branch or from your sponsor (if you chose this option when you applied).

You can choose to collect your BRP at a different Post Office branch, but there will be a fee if you wish to do so.

Usually, you need to collect your BRP within 10 days of your arrival in the UK or before the vignette sticker in your travel document expires, whichever is later. You will need to bring your passport or travel document with vignette sticker when you collect your BRP.

It is possible to nominate someone else to collect your BRP if you have a serious illness or disability which prevents you from collecting the BRP. The person you nominate must have one of the following:

  • A passport
  • A European Union identity card
  • BRP

You will be told within five working days whether the person you have nominated can collect your BRP.

What Can I do if I Encounter Problems When I Try to Collect my BRP?

If you tried to collect your biometric residence permit and weren’t able to, you need to get in touch with the Home Office to explain what happened.

Possible reasons for not being able to collect your biometric residence permit might include:

  • The Post Office not having your BRP when you went to collect it
  • Losing your passport or travel document and being unable to prove your identity
  • Not knowing which Post Office to go to

The Home Office will email you within 5 working days to tell you what you must do next in order to get your biometric residence permit.

How Do I Report a Problem With my Biometric Residence Permit?

You should inform the Home Office within 10 days if there are any problems with your biometric residence permit when it arrives or when you collect it. This can be done online here.

You can report mistakes with your name, gender or date of birth. If your BRP was damaged when it arrived, you can report this to the Home Office too.

When reporting a mistake, you will need to provide your full name, date of birth and nationality as they appear on the BRP. You will also need to provide your BRP number and an email or postal address.

What Can I do if My BRP is Lost or Stolen?

If your BRP is lost or stolen, you can report it from inside or outside the UK, but a replacement can only be ordered from inside the UK. The Home Office will contact you within one working day of your report.

If you are in the UK and your BRP was valid for 3 months or more, you must report the lost or stolen BRP and apply for a replacement within 3 months of losing it. Failure to do so could result in a £1,000 fine and you could be made to leave the UK.

If your BRP was valid for 3 months or less, the process is slightly different. You must do one of the following:

  • You need to report the BRP as lost or stolen if you do not intend to remain in the UK after the BRP’s expiry date
  • You need to apply for a replacement BRP if you plan to leave and re-enter the UK within 3 months of the expiry date of the lost BRP
  • You need to apply for your visa to be extended if you wish to stay in the UK after the expiry date of the lost BRP. You will automatically receive a BRP if your visa extension is approved

If you are outside the UK, you cannot apply for a replacement BRP and will instead need to apply for a ‘replacement BRP visa’. This costs £154 and it will allow you to enter the UK just once.

When you arrive in the UK, you can apply for a replacement BRP. You must apply for a replacement within 3 months of reporting the lost/stolen BRP, unless you have a valid reason for why you weren’t able to do so. If you couldn’t return to the UK in time, this will usually be regarded as a valid reason.

How do I Replace my Visa With a BRP?

You can apply for a BRP to replace the visa in your passport or travel document. If your passport or travel document has expired, or it’s been lost or stolen, you can apply for a BRP to replace your visa. Also, if your facial appearance has changed significantly, you can apply for a BRP to replace your visa.

Bear in mind that you must be in the UK to replace your visa with a BRP. The application process and the amount you need to pay depends on your immigration status in the UK.

When you apply for your BRP, you will need to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVACS) service point to have your biometric information taken.

If you have permission to stay in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain, you need to apply online for the BRP. The application costs £229, and you will get a decision within six months.

You will also need to apply online for the BRP if you have temporary permission to remain in the UK, otherwise known as ‘leave to remain’. This costs £161, and you will get a decision within 8 weeks.

It is also possible to use the super priority service if you want your BRP application to be completed as quickly as possible. This service costs an additional £800.

With the super priority service, you will receive a decision at the end of the next working day after your UKVACS appointment if the appointment is during the week. If your appointment is at the weekend, you will receive a decision two working days after your appointment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

As a general rule, no. If you need a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to live in the UK, the BRP application will be done automatically as part of your visa application.

If your BRP has been stolen and you need to replace it, or you wish to replace your UK visa with a BRP, you will need to complete an application.

You can apply for a BRP to replace the visa in your passport or travel document. If your passport or travel document has expired, or it’s been lost or stolen, you can apply for a BRP to replace your visa. Also, if your facial appearance has changed significantly, you can apply for a BRP to replace your visa.

Bear in mind that you must be in the UK to replace your visa with a BRP. The application process and the amount you need to pay depends on your immigration status in the UK.

When you apply for your BRP, you will need to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVACS) service point to have your biometric information taken.

If you have permission to stay in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain, you need to apply online for the BRP. The application costs £229, and you will get a decision within six months.

You will need to apply online for the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you have temporary permission to remain in the UK, otherwise known as ‘leave to remain’. This costs £161, and you will get a decision within 8 weeks.

It is also possible to use the super priority service if you want your BRP application to be completed as quickly as possible. This service costs an additional £800.

With the super priority service, you will receive a decision at the end of the next working day after your UKVACS appointment if the appointment is during the week. If your appointment is at the weekend, you will receive a decision two working days after your appointment.

If there any mistakes in the length or conditions of your visa, you could ask for an administrative review. Here at Birmingham immigration lawyers, we can offer full assistance with administrative reviews.

Please call us now on 0121 667 6530 to find out how one of our expert immigration lawyers in Birmingham can help you.

The BRP of a child must be collected by a nominated person (even if the person is the child’s parent). You will need to complete an online application to be a nominated person.

You do not need to go through the nomination process if you are collecting your own BRP at the same time as your child’s, as long as you are named on your child’s vignette sticker.

Yes, you can still collect your own BRP if you change your mind about someone else collecting it. You do not need to cancel the nominated person.

If you find yourself in this situation, you could be eligible to apply for a BRP under the Windrush scheme. Click here for more information.