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New Rules for UK Visa Customers

The UK Government has recently announced the introduction of new rules for people interested in acquiring (or extending) a UK visa. The new rules, published earlier this month, require those who are applying for a UK visa to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) at the same time.

What is a Biometric Residence Permit?

It is a kind of residence permit that contains a variety of different pieces of information regarding a migrant. It will contain:

  1. A migrant’s name, date and the place of their birth;
  2. A migrant’s immigration status and any entitlements that they may have while they are in the UK. It will also contain a facial photograph and fingerprint of the migrant.

In what circumstances is a Biometric Residence Permit needed?

There are a variety of different situations where a migrant will need to apply for a BRP:

  1. A migrant is planning on coming to the UK for more than 6 months;
  2. A migrant is intending on extending their UK visa or attempt to settle in the UK; and
  3. A migrant is attempting to apply to the Home Office for specific travel documents e.g. ‘Convention travel document’.

How to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit?

The procedure for applying for a BRP is different, depending on whether a migrant is applying from inside or outside of the UK:

Applying for a Biometric Residence Permit from inside the UK

A migrant’s presence in the UK will allow them to either apply for a BRP by post of by attending a Home Office service centre. Application for a BRP will involve the provision of important biographical details, as mentioned above. A failure to provide this information could have serious implications for the overall application to the Home Office.

Applying for a Biometric Residence Permit from outside of the UK

Individuals applying from outside of the UK will obviously be unable to be given a BRP. In the first instance, where their application – which will contain the relevant BRP information – to the Home Office to enter the UK is granted, they will be given permission in their passport to travel. Upon arrival in the UK, all migrants must attend the Post Office detailed in their letter from the Home Office granting their visa application, in order to receive their BRP.

How to use the Biometric Residence Permit?

As mentioned earlier, it is important to understand that a BRP is essentially evidence of a migrant’s right to be in the UK. It should also be used to validate their use of public services or other entitlements that they may enjoy, or to validate their right to study or work in the UK. It should be noted that in respect of workers or students, they must show their BRP to their employer or educational institution before they commence their work/ studies.

For comprehensive advice and assistance on all matters pertaining to UK citizenship, contact our immigration barristers in London.


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