The Home Office is reporting a delay in the issuance of Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) for Tier 2 (General), Sportsperson and Ministry of Religion applicants, following changes introduced in late April 2015 in the recording of National Insurance (NI) numbers on the BRP. For in-country applicants in these Tier 2 categories, they will require a NI number when making their leave to remain application in the UK. Before issuing the BRP, the Home Office will need to check the NI position with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and it is this additional check which is currently causing delays of up to 10 days.

With these new changes, any affected applicant is required to apply for an NI number and if one is not obtained prior to submitting a leave to remain application, a number will be automatically allocated by the DWP. This number is then recorded on the BRP.

The requirement to register with the police is no longer recorded on the BRP and instead applicants who are required to register with the police will be informed by a separate letter.

With effect from July 2015, an online application facility will be introduced for Tier 2 and 5 applicants using the Premium Service Centre fast track procedure. The online submission will prompt the NI check ahead of the biometric appointment in order to prevent delays in the issuance of the BRP.

The Home Office has acknowledged that insufficient information has been passed to stakeholders on this issue and we understand that it will shortly be sending out an update.