The UK biometric residence permit (BRP) is a small card issued by the UK authorities that can be used to confirm your identity as well as your right to study, to claim benefits and to use public services if you are entitled to do so.
It is issued to those seeking to stay in the UK for more than six months and will be dealt with as part of the process of obtaining a visa. If your visa application is approved, your BRP will be available to collect once you are in the UK if you have made an application from outside the UK, if your application is made within the UK it will be delivered. You are likely to be asked for your BRP by landlords, employers or educational establishments.
The BRP does not confirm that you have a right to work or to rent property, which should be dealt with separately online.
What is a BRP UK?
The BRP is an identity card that includes your name, date of birth, place of birth, fingerprints, photo and immigration status. It will also include any conditions that relate to your stay in the UK and confirm whether you are able to access public funds, such as healthcare or benefits.
Process to obtain BRP in UK
You need to provide your biometric information, ie. your fingerprints and photo, to an official body. If you are applying for a visa from within the UK, you can go to either a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
If you are applying from outside of the UK, you will need to go to a visa application centre.
Your biometric information is recorded by taking a digital photo of your face and scanning your fingerprints while your fingers are placed on a glass screen. The process is quick and does not involve ink.
If you wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons you do not have to remove this.
Apply for a UK BRP
You can apply for a BRP in the following circumstances:
- Your passport has expired or been lost
- You have lost your BRP and need to replace it
- Your BRP has been damaged or stolen
- Your BRP has expired and you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK so you need BRP renewal
- You need to change details on your BRP because your visa details have changed or your appearance has changed or other information has changed, such as your gender or nationality, you have separated from your partner or a child has stopped living with you
- You need to upgrade to a BRP from an older immigration document
If you lose your BRP or it is stolen, you should report this straightaway. It is only possible to apply for a replacement from inside the UK. If you are outside of the UK, you should apply for a replacement BRP visa, which will allow you to re-enter the UK. Once you are in the UK, you can then apply for a replacement BRP.
It is important to apply for a replacement within three months of losing a BRP or you could face a substantial fine of up to £1,000 and be required to leave the UK.
Renewal of BRP that has expired
If your BRP has expired, you can fill in an application form to update it.
You will also need to provide documents in support, to include:
- Proof of identity, such as your passport or other valid travel and identity document
- Proof of your continuous residence in the UK if you were granted indefinite leave to remain two years or more ago (this could be by producing Council Tax bills, utility bills or a letter from your employer)
- Your current BRP
Contact our expert BRP lawyers
At Halliday Reeves we specialise solely in immigration, meaning we have an exceptional depth of understanding and expertise in this complex area of law.
We offer a free 15-minute enquiry service to discuss your circumstances and how we can help you.
Securing a BRP is an important part of living in the UK and we can help you ensure that the process goes smoothly and that any visa application you make is as strong as possible, giving you the best chance of success.
We have offices in Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Wakefield and Nottingham. To speak to one of our expert immigration lawyers, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our Contact Form.