Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs)

  • Phases

There are four phases to the international rollout schedule for overseas applicants. To see the official list, please click here. The scheme should be fully implemented by 31 July 2015.

  • Vignette

By 31 July 2015, any migrant applying for, and then granted, more than six months' leave from overseas will no longer be issued with a vignette containing the full grant of leave. Instead, migrants will be issued with a vignette valid for only a 30-day period from the intended arrival date. If a migrant does not travel to the UK within that 30-day period, then the migrant will have to apply and pay for another 30-day vignette.

It is therefore imperative that as realistic an entry date as possible is included on the entry clearance application form.

  • Collecting the BRP

Once migrants arrive in the UK, they will have 10 days in which to collect their BRP from a designated Post Office branch. This branch would have been selected by migrants when submitting their online application. The Post Office branch would also be confirmed to migrants in the decision letter, which they would need to take to the Post Office, together with their endorsed passport, in order to collect the BRP. It is also possible to re-direct the BRP to another Post Office branch for an additional fee.

Failure to collect the BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK can result in migrants being fined or having their leave curtailed.

  • Collections by third parties

Currently, migrants are expected to collect their own BRP; however, in exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to nominate a third party.

In the future, it is envisaged that select organisations, such as Penningtons Manches LLP, will be able to have BRPs delivered directly to them, thereby avoiding collections at Post Offices. As soon as further details on this are announced, we will provide an update.

  • Right to work checks

Migrants who are eligible to work in the UK, eg Tier 2 migrants, collect their BRP before commencing work in the UK. Where, however, migrants are urgently required to start work before being able to collect their BRP, they can evidence their right to work in the UK by showing the vignette (provided that it is still valid) in the passport on which they would have travelled to the UK.

Where a right to work check is initially carried out on the basis of a vignette, the employer must diarise the expiry date and conduct another right to work check before the vignette expires on the basis of the BRP.

Police registration

Further changes implemented in April 2015 mean that the majority of applicants applying for leave to remain in the UK will no longer be told whether or not they need to register with the police on their BRPs. Instead, migrants should be contacted separately via a letter which they will need to take to the police in order to register or to update their police registration certificate.

National Insurance numbers

Within the UK, those individuals applying for leave under the following categories will now have their National Insurance numbers included on their BRPs:

  • Tier 2 (General);
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson); and
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion).

It therefore follows that such a Tier 2 applicant will require a National Insurance number in order to make an in-country leave to remain application. It has been reported that, before issuing a BRP, UKVI checks a migrant's National Insurance position with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), which can then result in delays of up to 10 days.

If a Tier 2 migrant does not apply for a National Insurance number prior to submitting his or her leave to remain application, the DWP will automatically allocate a number which will then be recorded on the BRP.