Personal Immigration

Changes to the requirements for biometric residence permits

The requirement to provide the UK Border Agency (UKBA) with biometric information has changed, with effect from 1st December 2012.

Visitors from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland who have been granted permission to stay in the UK for more than six months on or after 1st December 2012, must apply for a biometric residence permit (if they have not already done so).

This is to ensure that from 1st December the UKBA only issues this new format of immigration status document to meet its obligations under European legislation.

Biometric residence permits are replacing older forms of documentation and the new format is helping employers and other bodies to check the immigration status and entitlements of foreign nationals, say the UKBA. They are both simpler to understand and are more convenient for foreign nationals living in the UK to use. The application process also enables the agency to check a person against both our records and police fingerprint records.

The UKBA has been rolling out biometric residence permits to different visa categories over the last four years. This means that applicants have been enrolling their biometric information (fingerprints and facial images) to apply for a biometric residence permit at the same time as making their application to stay in the UK.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

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