What is a Biometric Residence Permit?

Biometric Residence Permit

A biometric residence permit (BRP) is a secure permit that has biographical information (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (photo and fingerprints) of the holder. It’s designed to help combat those illegally living and working in the UK. The permit displays an individual’s immigration status and what they are entitled to within the UK. A BRP is a convenient proof of the holder’s right to be in the UK to stay, work or study. 

You’ll receive a BRP if you:

  • Apply to stay in the UK for longer than six months
  • Extend a visa for longer than six months
  • Are applying to settle in the UK
  • Need to transfer your visa to a new passport
  • Are applying for certain Home Office travel documents (such as Refugee)

You are not required to apply for a BRP as you will be given a permit automatically during a successful visa or immigration application.

Benefits of a BRP

Biometric residence permits gives the holder easier access in:

  • Providing proof of right to stay in the UK
  • Providing proof of identity whenever in a safe and quick manner
  • Helping employers identify the identity of a non-EEA national’s current employment status and right to work in the UK

Who should apply for a Biometric Residence Permit?

Any foreign national who is from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will need to apply for a BRP during certain applications. During the application process, you will be informed if you require a BRP.  This applies to both postal and in-person applications. A successful applicant receives their permit as evidence. If you apply for certain categories that don’t require BRP, you will be issued with a vignette sticker in your passport instead.

Under 18s and BRP

Any child over the age of six must provide biometric evidence (fingerprints) when applying for a BRP. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult when completing their application. 

Do I need a Biometric Card to work in the UK?

It is required when applying for a job in the UK to provide evidence of your identity and your right to work in the country. A BRP card should be presented with a passport when requested. If you don’t need a BRP, your visa will state if you have permission to work in the UK.

Consultants at Visa and Migration can help identify if you require a BRP when applying for a visa for the UK.

What happens when I enrol my Biometric information?

The process is quick (taking 5-10 minutes) and all information is sent to the Home Office. A digital photograph is taken and fingerprints are taken on a glass screen that scans. The dignity, privacy and modesty of all applicants is considered, and special arrangements can be made where needed for applicants. 

How long is a BRP valid for?

A biometric residence permit is valid for a person’s limited leave or for the maximum of 10 years.

Can I travel with a BRP?

Any individual that holds a BRP who leaves the UK and wants re-entry must present the permit at the border with a valid passport. This confirms your current immigration status. A BRP is not a travel document on its own and should always be presented with a passport.

How long does the Biometric Card take to arrive?

A BRP is usually received within 7-10 days of getting a ‘decision letter’ from the Home Office, declaring you can stay in the UK. A BRP will be sent to the address provided in your application.

Can someone else collect my BRP?

A BRP can be collected by a nominated individual if you cannot do this yourself. Reason for being unable to collection your BRP include serious illness or disability.

How do I apply for a Biometric Card?

Once your application for a UK visa or immigration has been submitted, you will be able to enrol your biometric information at various Post Office locations. 

As leading UK immigration specialists, we support applicants through all steps of the visa and immigration process. We will help you find out if you require a Biometric Residence Permit, what you need to provide for a BRP and how you can provide it.

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