WHAT DO SPOUSE VISA HOLDERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BIOMETRIC RESIDENCE PERMIT (BRP)
***Photos are for illustration purposes only.
What is a biometric residence permit?
The biometric residence permit (BRP) is a residence permit which holds a migrant’s biographic details (name, date, and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints), and shows their immigration status and entitlements while they remain in the UK.
The biometric residence permit is proof of the holder’s right to stay, work or study in the UK. It can also be used as a form of identification (for example, if they wish to open a bank account in the UK). The holder is not required to carry their permit at all times, but they must show it at the border, together with their passport, when traveling outside of, and when returning to the UK. The card confirms the date the holder’s leave expires, whether they have the right to work in the UK and other restrictions placed on the right to stay. Failure to comply with any of these restrictions may result in prosecution and/or removal from the UK. The information provided as part of the immigration application will be shared with other government departments, in accordance with the law, to monitor compliance with conditions of stay.
Migrants who are eligible to work in the UK are strongly encouraged to collect their BRP before they start work. If they need to start work prior to collecting their BRP they will be able to evidence their right to work by producing the short validity vignette in the passport they used to travel to the UK.
When and where will I get/receive my biometric residence permit?
Successful applicants will be issued with a vignette in their passport which is valid for 30 days. The vignette is proof only of your permission to enter the UK and will allow you to travel to the UK. If you do not travel to the UK within this 30 day period you will have to apply for another 30-day vignette, for which there will be an additional fee.
You must collect your biometric residence permit from the Post Office branch detailed in your decision letter. You must do this either before your 30-day vignette expires or within 10 days of arrival in the UK, whichever is later. The Post Office branch you have been allocated is linked to the postcode you submitted in your visa application.
If you do not collect your BRP you may be subject to a financial penalty or cancellation of your leave.
How do I collect my biometric residence permit from the Post Office?
The decision letter you received along with your passport with visa vignette on it will tell you the date from which your biometric residence permit is expected to be available, and the Post Office you must attend. This earliest collection date is based upon the date on which your vignette started.
You do not need to make an appointment to collect your BRP.
When you attend the Post Office branch you must bring with you the passport which contains your 30-day visa. You should also bring your decision letter with you, if possible, as it will help the Post Office staff to locate your BRP quickly.
If you do not bring your passport you will not be able to collect your BRP.
What do I do if I have lost my passport after arriving in the UK but before I have collected my biometric residence permit?
If you are unable to present your passport to the Post Office you will not be able to collect your BRP. If you have lost your passport or travel document since arriving in the UK, click this link https://www.biometric-residence-permit.service.gov.uk/collection/where to report it. You will be notified of what to do next within 5 working days of receipt. You should not attempt to collect your BRP until you have been told to do so by the Home Office.
What must I do when I receive my biometric residence permit?
You must check the permit carefully to make sure that all the details on it are correct, as you are required by law to have a card that accurately records your personal details and the type of permission you have to be in the United Kingdom.
If there’s a problem with your BRP when it arrives, report it within 10 days. Otherwise, you may have to apply and pay for a replacement.
Make sure to photocopy the front and back of your permit, in case it is lost or stolen. If you want to make another application in the future, you will have to send your permit to the Home Office so you may want to retain a copy for your records.
How do I use my biometric residence permit?
It is a MUST that you collect your BRP as soon as possible. You will need your BRP:
- You need to have your BRP before you can start work. However, your sponsor can allow you to start working before you collect your BRP, providing that your short-term vignette has not expired.
- You must take your permit with you if you go abroad while you have permission to stay in the United Kingdom. You may have to show the permit to the immigration officer at the border when you leave the United Kingdom. You will have to show it along with your valid national passport before you begin your return journey, and again when you re-enter the United Kingdom. The permit proves that you are allowed to return to the United Kingdom, but it cannot be used instead of a passport.
What must I do if my biometric residence permit is lost or stolen?
If your biometric residence permit is lost or stolen while you are in the United Kingdom, you must apply for another permit within 3 months of reporting the loss or theft of your original permit, using form BRP (RC). https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/next
If your permit is lost or stolen while you are outside the United Kingdom, you must apply for a Replacement BRP visa in order to re-enter the United Kingdom. You must then apply for a new biometric residence permit within one month of returning to the UK. https://www.biometric-residence-permit.service.gov.uk/lost-stolen/where
If you do not apply for a replacement permit when required to do so, you may have to pay a financial penalty of up to £1,000, or we may shorten your permission to stay.
How do I change my personal details on my biometric residence permit?
You must report as soon as possibly can:
- you change your name (for example, because of marriage or by deed poll);
- you change your gender, legally or permanently;
- you change your nationality; or
- your facial appearance changes significantly.
If you change any personal details listed above or any details shown on your biometric residence permit, you must apply for a new permit within three months, by making an application for transfer of conditions (TOC) or no time limit (NTL). You can download the application forms and guidance at Transfer Visa. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-transfer-visa-to-biometric-residence-permit-form-toc
If you do not do this, you may have to pay a financial penalty of up to £1,000 or we may shorten your permission to stay.
What do I do if my biometric residence permit is near its end date?
If you have limited leave to enter or remain and you wish to remain in the UK, you will need to make a further application before your leave expires.
You will need to enclose your biometric residence permit with your new application.
If you do not make a valid, in-time application you may no longer be permitted to stay in the UK.
What must I do if my permit is damaged or faulty or the information incorrect?
You must report it immediately using the service at https://www.biometric-residence-permit.service.gov.uk/correct-mistakes/location if you know or suspect that your BRP is damaged, has been tampered with, is faulty or has incorrect information.