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Complete guide to the Biometric Residence Permit, who can apply, what information does it contain, how it is used and FAQs

The Biometric Residence Permit is a biometric document that generally is provided to all the foreigners who apply to extend their current visa, as well as to their dependents. It is proof of the holder’s right to stay, work or study in the UK, which can also be used as a form of identification.

In addition, the candidate will have information taken for BRP when he or she applies for the visa, such as fingerprints and a digital photo.

The BRP will hold the candidate’s personal information such as:

  • Name
  • Birthday and birthplace
  • Fingerprints and photo
  • Information on their current visa and related conditions of stay,
  • Information regarding the possibility to access public funds, i.e. health services
  • Their National Insurance number (not all of them though, depending on candidate’s circumstances).

BRP holder can use this document to reveal:

  • Information about their identity
  • Their category of rights for employment or studying
  • Their level of access to public services
  • You can get more detailed information about BRP in the detailed guidance in here – if you are applying for a visa from inside the UK and here – if you are applying from outside.

This document is taken automatically when the candidate’s visa application is approved and there is NO need to apply for it in a separate way.

Check your permit as soon as you receive it, for mistakes. If you find any of the information incorrect, inform the Home Office as soon as possible, so they can correct it and issue you another with correct information.

Who Needs a Biometric Residence Permit?

Almost every foreign national outside the European Economic Area who enters the United Kingdom under a long-term authorization has to obtain a Biometric Residence permit within ten days of arrival in the UK. If the applicant has to obtain a BRP, it will be stated in his / her visa.

Candidates, who must apply for a BRP are the following:

Biometric Information for BRP

Children under 6 years old will only have their facial image taken. Everyone over 6 years old must provide their fingerprints too, when applying for a biometric residence permit. Whereas, it is a legal requirement for children under the age of 16 to have a ‘responsible adult’ to accompany them.

If a foreign resident in the UK refuses to give their biometric information then their application to the Home Office will be rejected, what might lead to his or her deportation to their home country.

Whereas, if you are physically unable to give your biometric information, respectively your fingerprints because of physical disability (you have no fingers or hands) you will be recorded in the database as a person who is physically unable to provide fingerprints. Your facial image, however, will be recorded in the database.

Your biometric information will be stored on a central government database in the United Kingdom, and handled in line with the UK’s strict data protection laws.

Biometric Residence Permit Extension

When your Biometric Residence Permit is near its end date, but you still wish to remain in the United Kingdom for a longer period, then you will have to apply for its extension before its expiration. Because if it expires and you did not apply for its extension then you will not be permitted to stay in the UK any longer.

What to do if I Lose my BRP?

If you lose your BRP you must report the loss as soon as possible using the service at BRP Lost

If you lose the BRP while in the UK, you must apply for another within 3 months. Whereas, if you lose it while outside, then you must apply for a Replacement BRP visa in order to reenter the United Kingdom.

What Can I do if I Find Someone Else’s Lost BRP?

If by chance you find a biometric residence permit that is of someone you don’t know, then you should send it as soon as possible by post at this address:

Returns Unit
PO Box 163
BS20 1AB

The postage is free, which means you will not have to pay anything for sending someone else’s BRP card to this address.

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