New biometric residence permit requirements
25 August 2015
A recent change to immigration legislation means that visa customers wishing to stay in the UK for longer than six months will need to get a biometric residence permit (BRP).
The BRP provides evidence of a migrant’s permission to be in the UK, as well as the length and conditions attached to the stay and whether they can access public services and benefits. It also includes the migrant’s name, date and place of birth, fingerprints, and photograph. It can be used as a form of identification.
Previously, the BRP requirement only applied to non-EEA nationals who wished to extend their stay in the UK for more than six months.
Under the new system, all migrants coming to the UK for a period longer than six months will be issued with a 30-day travel visa. This has the following conditions:
· The migrant must travel to the UK within the 30-day period or their visa will expire
· If this period expires before the migrant travels, they will need to apply for a replacement (including resupplying biometric data) and pay another fee to travel to the UK
· Once the migrant travels to the UK, they must collect their BRP from a specific Post Office branch (specified by the migrant during their application) within ten days of their arrival
· The migrant will need to follow the instructions detailed in the letter accompanying their visa decision
All migrants must carry their BRP whenever travelling to and from the UK throughout their stay.
While this change was intended to enhance the control of migrants after arrival in the UK, there have already been problems - such as BRPs not being available for collection within the ten-day period specified.