Biometric residence permits (BRPs)

Biometric residence permits (BRPs)

What a BRP is

You’ll get a biometric residence permit (BRP) if you:

  • apply to come to the UK for longer than 6 months
  • extend your visa to longer than 6 months
  • apply to settle in the UK
  • transfer your visa to a new passport
  • apply for certain Home Office travel documents

You do not have to apply separately for a BRP. You’ll get one automatically if your visa or immigration application is approved, or you’re replacing an older document.

What’s on your BRP

Your BRP will include:

  • your name, date and place of birth
  • your fingerprints and a photo of your face (this is your biometric information)
  • your immigration status and any conditions of your stay
  • whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services

You may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your BRP. Not all BRPs have this – it depends on factors like the date it was issued and your visa status.

Why you need a BRP

You can use your BRP to confirm your:

  • identity
  • right to study or work in the UK
  • right to any public services or benefits you’re entitled to

Give your fingerprints and photo

You’ll be asked to provide your fingerprints and photo (‘biometric information’) as part of your visa or immigration application. You need to:

  • have a digital photo taken of your face
  • put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned
  • give your signature, or say why you cannot give it

The process takes less than 5 minutes and does not involve any ink or mess. You will not need to take off your head covering if you wear it for religious or medical reasons.

If you do not have any fingers you only need to have a digital photo taken of your face. It will be noted on your records that you’re physically unable to provide fingerprints.

What children need to do

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone over 18 who has legal responsibility for them.

Children do not need to give their signature. They do not need to give their fingerprints if they’re:

  • under 6 and applying from inside the UK
  • under 5 and applying from outside the UK

Getting your BRP

How you get your biometric residence permit (BRP) depends on where you made your visa or immigration application.

If you applied from inside the UK

Your BRP will be sent to you by courier. You do not need to collect it.

If you applied from outside the UK

Collect your BRP once you’re in the UK.

You must do this before the vignette sticker in your travel document expires or within 10 days of arriving in the UK, whichever is later.

Check your decision letter. It will tell you to collect your BRP from either:

  • a named Post Office branch
  • your sponsor, if you chose this option when you applied

You must be over 18 to collect a BRP.

You can get a fine of up to £1,000 if you do not collect your BRP.

What you’ll need

Bring your passport or travel document with your vignette sticker in when you collect your BRP.

You’ll get your vignette sticker when your visa application is approved. You have permission to come to the UK within 30 days of getting it.

Collecting a child’s BRP

You must be nominated to collect a child’s BRP, even if you’re the child’s parent.

The Home Office will tell you within 5 working days if you’re approved to collect the child’s BRP.

You do not need to be nominated if you’re also collecting your own BRPand you are named on your child’s vignette sticker.

If you cannot collect your BRP

You can nominate someone else to collect your BRP if you have a serious illness or disability that prevents you from collecting it.

The person you nominate must have one of the following:

  • a passport
  • an EU national identity card
  • a BRP

You can get someone to make the nomination for you, for example a legal representative, charity, employer, college or university.

You’ll be told within 5 working days if the person you nominate is approved to collect your BRP.

If you change your mind, you can still collect your BRP yourself or you can nominate a different person. You do not need to cancel the original nomination.


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