What is a Biometric Residence Permit?
To prove your permanent status in the UK, you must hold both a Biometric Residence Permit and Indefinite Leave to Remain.
A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card with a chip that serves as proof that you have a right to reside, work or study in the UK.
Since your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) holds your immigration information, it is essential to understand what it is and how to use it.
Our immigration advisers have put together an exhaustive guide on how to get Biometric Card for Indefinite Leave to Remain. It includes guidance on how to replace your lost or stolen BRP.
- What is a Biometric Residence Permit?
- What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?
- How can I get ILR Based on Employment?
- Other Ways to Get ILR in the UK
- Biometric Residence Permit & Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Why do you need a BRP?
- How to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit?
- How long does it take to get a Biometric Residence Permit?
- What should I do if my BRP is lost or stolen?
- Need help with your Biometric Residence Permit and Indefinite Leave to Remain?
What is Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR)?
The Indefinite Leave to Remain lets you live and work in the UK for an indefinite period. To enjoy your settled status in the UK, you must first meet several requirements.
Overall, the conditions to apply for ILR are the following:
- Have lived in the UK as a continuous resident for a certain period of time;
- Pass the Life in the UK and the English language requirements;
- Do not have criminal records;
- Have not violated your previous or current immigration status.
Several immigration paths can be followed to get your Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Based on your immigration status, you need to spend a certain amount of time in the UK before you can apply for settled status.
How can I get ILR Based on Employment?
The following are employment visas and the duration it takes to get indefinite leave to remain with them:
- Tier 1 Visa (Exceptional Talent): from 3 to 5 years of permanent residence.
- Tier 1 Visa (Investor and Entrepreneur): from 2 to 5 years of lawful residence if you have an adequate level of investments or income.
- Tier 2 (General) Visa: at least 5 years of resident permanence. At the time of your ILR application, you need to retain your employment contract with your company.
- Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa: after 5 years in the UK, if your employer still requires your competence.
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa: after at least 5 years in the UK, you can be eligible if you have received a salary of £35,500 or more.
- Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa: after 5 years, if your employer requires you to continue to stay in the UK, you can be eligible.
- Investor, Innovator, Self-Employer Lawyer, and Businessperson Visa: at least 5 years of residence.
- Work Permit: you may be eligible after 5 years.
- Sole Representative of an Overseas Business, Newspaper or News Agency: after 5 years of work in the UK-based branch of your business.
- Domestic Worker Visa: in this case, ILR is only available if your visa application was made before 6 April 2012.
Ten years of continuous lawful residence
Regardless of your visa status, you may be eligible for ILR after 10 years of lawful and continuous residence in the UK. However, you should still meet all the other conditions of eligibility.
Your 10-year period begins when you first enter the UK or when your permit is issued.
If you want to know how to apply for ILR in the UK based on your current status, one of our solicitors is happy to help. Our team are based across the UK, including in London, Manchester, or Birmingham. You can also use the office finder to find the closest branch to you.
Child or spouse of a settled person
If you are the partner or the dependant of a settled person, you may apply for ILR in the UK. Your eligibility depends on the immigration path that the ILR holder followed to get his or her permanent residence.
Other decisive factors for your eligibility are:
- Your ILR application documents;
- Your relationship with the settled person;
- Your immigration status at the time of your application;
- Your intention to settle in the UK;
- If you are the partner of a settled person, your intention is to live together as a couple;
- Your financial situation.
If your application is successful, you will be a settled person. You will then hold Biometric Residence Permit and Indefinite Leave to Remain to prove your status.
Biometric Residence Permit & Indefinite Leave to Remain
If you already hold Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, you can transfer your visa to your passport. By doing this, you can use your new Biometric Residence Permit as a document to confirm both your identity and your immigration status.
If you apply to settle in the UK, you will get your Biometric Residence Permit.
Just like an identity card, your UK Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) lists your personal information:
- Your full name;
- Your date and place of birth;
- Your biometric information (your photo and your fingerprints);
- Your immigration status and condition to stay in the UK;
- Other information about your status, such as benefits and health services;
- Your National Insurance (NI) number (if applicable);
- Your Biometric Residence Permit number.
Why do you need a BRP?
Your Biometric Residence Permit is the evidence of Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. It also highlights your immigration status and your condition of stay.
Once you are settled in the UK, you can use your BRP to confirm your identification. If you have a National insurance Number, it will also appear in your BRP.
Subsequently, it is recommended to keep your Biometric Residence Card always valid and up to date. It is necessary for several stages of your life in the UK, such as opening a bank account or applying for a job.
If you are a resident returning to the UK after a long absence, your BRP can prove your eligibility for your Resident Return Visa application.
How to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit?
If you have been granted the right to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, you will automatically receive your BRP. In other words, you do not need to submit a separate Biometric card application.
Based on your immigration status at the time of your application, you can obtain your BRP either while in the UK or abroad.
When you apply for your ILR in the UK from abroad, a “vignette” sticker is attached to your passport. This is only valid for 30 days and allows you to enter the UK to collect your BRP.
You can choose to collect your resident card from a Post Office or an Alternative Collection Location. In both cases, your ILR approval letter tells you the date from which your BRP will be ready to be collected. You must bring the identification documents indicated on your Biometric Residence Permit application.
You are always expected to collect your own BRP. However, if you have a severe illness or disability or if you are under the age of 18, you may nominate a representative. Your BRP can also be directly delivered to your UK-based sponsor or employer if you have one.
It is important to note that if you fail to collect your BRP, you may face a fine up to £1,000. You may also need to submit another Biometric Residence Permit application.
The Biometric Residence Permit fee is £65, plus an additional £19.20 for biometric fees. If you have lost your previous BRP, you can ask for a replacement for a cost of £56.
How long does it take to get a Biometric Residence Permit?
The Biometric Residence Permit processing time may vary between one and four months. If you need to receive your response in a shorter period, you can pay an extra £800 for the priority service.
Once you receive your Biometric Residence Card, you should check if all your details are correct. In the case of any mistakes, you must inform the Home Office within 10 working days. Your BRP is not valid until your details are the same as reported on your passport.
What should I do if my BRP is lost or stolen?
If you lose your passport, you will be able to use your BRP to demonstrate your ILR status in the UK. However, if your BRP is lost or stolen, you must report this to the police and ask for a replacement.
If you cannot find your Biometric Residence Card anywhere, you need to contact the police. If it has been stolen, you will receive a crime reference number.
Once you get your report from the police, you must inform the Home Office. At this point, your BRP is cancelled. If you find it before you receive your replacement, it will not be valid.
Your Biometric Residence Permit and Indefinite Leave to Remain are essential to prove your status in the UK. For this reason, you must request your replacement as soon as possible.
Need help with your Biometric Residence Permit and Indefinite Leave to Remain?
A Biometric Residence Permit lists all the relevant information about your immigration status. It can be used to prove your status and your Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
If you apply to settle in the UK, you will automatically receive your BRP without submitting a Biometric Card application. A vignette will be printed on your passport, and you will be able to collect your residence card.
However, getting your Biometric Residence Permit and Indefinite Leave to Remain may be a complicated process. For this reason, you should seek legal advice. IAS solicitors are committed to ensuring your Biometric Residence Permit application is successful.
We will assess your eligibility to settle in the UK and take full responsibility for your application process. If your request is delayed, we can also liaise with the Home Office.