Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

What is a BRP, Where to collect your BRP, Problems with your BRP

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If you are collecting your BRP from the Stonebow Post Office in Lincoln, collections can only be made on Fridays and Saturdays between 9am and 5.30pm until further notice.

WHAT IS A BRP?

Evidence of your permission to be in the UK is issued as a biometric residence permit (BRP), separate from your passport. A BRP is a plastic card similar to a credit card which contains your personal information, your biometric information (photograph and fingerprints) and states your immigration status and some of your conditions.

If you are an EU or EEA national and used the UK Immigration: ID Check app in order to submit your application, you will not receive a BRP but a digital immigration status which can be used to view and prove your immigration status online.

BRPs are different from biometric residence cards (BRCs). BRCs are also called ‘UK residence cards’. You might have one if you’re in the UK as a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. BRCs have ‘residence card’ printed on them.

A biometric residence permit (BRP) can be used to confirm your:

  • identity
  • right to study, rent property or work in the UK
  • right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to

From 6 April 2022 you will not be able to use your BRP to confirm your right to work or rent. You’ll need to prove your right to work online or prove your right to rent online instead. You will still be able to use your BRP to confirm your identity, your right to study and your right to any public services or benefits.

You’ll usually get a BRP if you:

You do not have to apply separately for a BRP.

You cannot get a BRP if you use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to prove your identity when applying to stay in the UK. You’ll need to prove your right to live and work in the UK online instead.

If you apply for a BRP, you will not get one.

Your BRP will include:

  • your name, date and place of birth
  • your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information)
  • your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services

You may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your BRP. Not all BRPs have this – it depends on factors like the date it was issued and your visa status.

You’ll need to apply for an NI number if all of the following apply:

Where you give your biometric information depends on how you’re making your visa or immigration application.

If you’re applying from within the UK, you’ll usually go to one of the following:

If you’re outside the UK, you’ll be asked to go to a visa application centre.

Most overseas UK visa application centres are open, but some are closed until further notice because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Check with your local visa application centre for the latest information on the services they’re offering.

If you’re applying to extend your stay or switch to a different visa, you must be in the UK to provide your biometric information.

 

Fingerprints and photo

You’ll be asked to provide your fingerprints and photo (‘biometric information’) if you’re getting a biometric residence permit (BRP) as part of your visa or immigration application.

You need to:

  • have a digital photo taken of your face
  • put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned

The process takes less than 5 minutes and does not involve any ink or mess. You will not need to take off your head covering if you wear it for religious or medical reasons.

If you do not have any fingers you only need to have a digital photo taken of your face. It will be noted on your records that you’re physically unable to provide fingerprints.

 

Children under 16

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone over 18 who has legal responsibility for them.

Children do not need to give their fingerprints if they are under 5 when they apply.

It costs £19.20 to give your biometric information (or reuse it if you’ve provided it before) if you apply from within the UK.

If you apply from outside the UK the cost is included in your application fee.

If you made your visa or immigration application from inside the UK, your biometric residence permit (BRP) will be sent to the address you gave in your application. You do not need to collect it.

When your BRP will arrive

Your BRP will usually arrive within 10 working days of getting your ‘decision letter’ from the Home Office saying that you can remain in the UK.

You’ll get an email or text from the delivery company telling you when your BRP will arrive and how to change the delivery time and date.

Someone aged 18 or over must be at the delivery address to receive your BRP. They’ll need proof of their identity – for example, a driving licence, passport or national identity card.

If your address has changed

You’ll need to update your address if you want your BRP to be sent to a different address than the one you gave in your application.

If you do not have your decision letter yet, tell the Home Office your address has changed.

If your decision letter has arrived, you’ll need to:

Your BRP may take longer to arrive if your address has changed. Tell the Home Office and the delivery company as soon as it changes.

If your BRP is delivered to the wrong address because you did not update it, you’ll need to report a problem with your BRP.

If your BRP has not arrived within 10 working days

Contact the delivery company if either:

  • your BRP has not arrived within 10 working days of you getting your decision letter
  • you missed the delivery of your BRP

You’ll need:

  • the postcode of the address you gave in your application
  • the consignment number

Your consignment number is a 9 number code. You’ll usually have it in emails from the delivery company and UK Visas and Immigration’s BRP courier delivery team.

If you missed the delivery of your BRP, you must contact the delivery company to arrange a new delivery time within 30 days or it will be returned to the Home Office.

Contact TNT to track or rearrange the delivery of your BRP.

The delivery company will track your BRP and rearrange delivery, if needed.

You’ll need to tell the Home Office that your BRP has not arrived if:

  • you do not have a consignment number
  • TNT is unable to help with your delivery question
  • it’s been more than 30 days since you missed the delivery of your BRP

You can contact the Home Office about your BRP delivery if your ‘decision letter’ from the Home Office saying that you can remain in the UK arrived more than 10 working days ago.

You should only contact the Home Office if any of the following apply:

  • you have already contacted the delivery company, and they could not help you
  • you do not have a consignment number to track your delivery with the delivery company
  • you missed the delivery of your BRP more than 30 days ago

You’ll need the following information:

  • your full name, date of birth and nationality
  • an email or postal address
  • your decision letter

You can get someone to contact the Home Office for you, for example a legal representative, charity, employer, college or university.

The Home Office will email you to tell you what to do next. You will usually get a response within 5 working days. It’ll take longer if you do not give an email address.

Do not use this service if the delivery company tried to deliver your BRP and left a card, or sent a text message or email. Contact them to rearrange delivery.

If you applied for your visa from outside the UK, you’ll need to collect your BRP once you’re in the UK.

You must usually do this before the vignette sticker in your travel document expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later.

If you are collecting your BRP from the Stonebow Post Office in Lincoln, collections can only be made on Fridays and Saturdays between 9am and 5.30pm

Do not collect your BRP if you’re self-isolating because of COVID-19. The Post Office will keep your BRP for 60 days. Collect it when you finish self-isolating.

When you are completing your Student Visa application form, you will usually be prompted to choose a location to collect your BRP (biometric residence permit). The form will normally default to the Stonebow Centre Post Office, which is the nearest Post Office to the University of Lincoln campus.

You can enter an “Alternative Address Postcode” to select a different Post Office if the Stonebow branch is not the most convenient Post office branch for you.

You should choose the most convenient Post Office branch for where you are living or studying.

If you want to pick your BRP up from a different Post Office branch once you are in the UK you will need to go online to do this and you will required to pay a fee. Check that the Post Office branch you want to use offers a ‘BRP collection service’.

When your Student immigration permission is granted, you will also be issued with a visa decision letter explaining the student visa conditions. Normally, this letter will also confirm the date and Post Office location where you can collect your BRP.  Keep this letter safe for your reference.

If your visa decision letter does not confirm the Post Office where you can collect your BRP, you should check the payment section of your visa application form for the Post Office location. If you do not have a copy of your completed application, you should be able to log in to your UKVI account and access a pdf.

 

Tell the Home Office if you cannot collect your BRP for any reason, for example:

  • you went to collect it from the Post Office and it was not there
  • you’ve lost your passport or travel document, or cannot prove your identity
  • you do not know which Post Office to go to because you’ve lost your decision letter

The Home Office will email you to tell you what to do next. You will usually get a response within 5 working days. It’ll take longer if you do not give an email address.

Do not tell the Home Office that you cannot collect your BRP if you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus. Collect it when you finish self-isolating.

 

You may be able to prove your immigration status a different way if you have not received your biometric residence permit (BRP) yet, or your BRP is lost or stolen.

Prove your right to work

If the visa sticker (called a vignette) in your passport or travel document has not expired, you can use it as proof of your right to work in the UK.

If the vignette has expired, your employer can ask the Home Office to confirm your right to work.

Prove your right to rent in England

If the visa sticker (called a vignette) in your passport or travel document has not expired, you can use it as proof of your right to rent.

If the vignette has expired, your landlord can contact the Home Office to confirm your right to rent.

You do not need to prove your right to rent in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Prove your immigration status to the government or the NHS

If you need to prove your status to get benefits or use the NHS, tell the government department, local council or NHS service you’re dealing with that your BRP has not arrived. They will contact the Home Office to confirm your status.

Open a bank account

You usually do not need a BRP to open a bank account. Contact the bank to check if you’ll need a BRP or if you can use a different document.

If you need to leave and re-enter the UK before you get your BRP you will need to apply for a ‘replacement BRP visa’. This will let you re-enter the UK once only. It costs £154.

When you apply, you’ll need to:

  • choose the country you’re going to provide your fingerprints and photo in
  • confirm that you can travel to a visa application centre

Apply for a replacement BRP visa.

If there’s a problem with your BRP when it arrives, report it online within 10 days. Otherwise you may have to apply and pay for a replacement.

You can report online if your BRP does not arrive.

Problems with a BRP can include;

  • a mistake with your name, date or place of birth
  • damage to your BRP
  • a mistake in the length or conditions of your visa (if you applied for your visa in the UK you can ask for an administrative review)

Further information about reporting a problem with your BRP can be found on Gov.uk

You can report your biometric residence permit (BRP) lost or stolen from inside or outside the UK. You can only apply for a replacement from inside the UK.

The Home Office will contact you within one working day of reporting it.

If your lost or stolen BRP was valid for 3 months or more, report it and apply for a replacement. You must do this within 3 months of losing it.

You can be fined up to £1,000 and made to leave the UK if you do not apply for a replacement within 3 months.

If your BRP was valid for 3 months or less, you must do one of the following:

  • report it as lost or stolen if you do not intend to remain in the UK after its expiry date
  • apply for a replacement if you plan to leave and re-enter the UK within 3 months of its expiry date
  • apply to extend your visa if you want to stay in the UK after its expiry date – if granted, you’ll automatically get a new BRP

You must report your lost or stolen BRP outside the UK.

You cannot apply for a replacement BRP outside the UK. Instead, you’ll need to apply for a ‘replacement BRP visa’, which lets you re-enter the UK once only. It costs £154.

You can then apply for a replacement BRP when you return to the UK. You must do this within 3 months of reporting it lost or stolen unless you have a good reason, for example you were unable to return to the UK in that time.

You can find further information about Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) by using the following links

Biometric residence permits (BRPs) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

UKCISA – Biometric Residence Permits (BRP)

You can also email internationaladvice@lincoln.ac.uk and the International Advice Team will be able to help you with any questions or issues you have.

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