The Home Office recently announced that any non-EEA national applying from overseas for permission to stay in the UK (for more than six months), will be required to pick up a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) upon arrival to the United Kingdom. Once the changes have been implemented, successful applicants will be required to collect their BRP’s within ten days of their first arrival in the UK. This has come as a direct result of EU Regulations, which require member states to issues BRP’s to applicants requiring leave for more than six months.
The roll-out of this new process for overseas applicants, will be phased in from 18th March 2015, with additional countries entering the scheme in April and May. As of 31st July, the process will apply to all overseas nationals.
The visa application process remains largely unchanged, with applicants required to provide their intended date of travel, a UK address and post code. The applicant will then also have to collect their BRP from a designated Post Office on arrival in the UK. Previously, overseas applicants have simply been issued with visa endorsements in their passports.
These fresh changes will mean that successful visa applicants will receive a letter informing them of the decision, as well as a short term visa vignette in their passport, valid for 30 days from the expected date of travel, to give the migrant time to travel to the UK as well as collect their BRP.
There is no additional cost and on arrival, migrants will be required to present their specific documents – a valid passport or travel document containing the 30 day short validity vignette, the decision letter and any other information requested by a border officer.
Migrate UK Managing Director, Jonathan Beech, commented that “swift collection of the BRP is vital, especially where employers and educational establishments are required to carry out ‘Right to Work / Study’ checks on their employees & students and maintain accurate records of their continuing ability to remain in the UK. It is also important that the BRP is free from mistakes”.
The Home Office ultimately would like to be in a position where the BRP becomes the principal document for illustrating a non-EEA individual’s right to reside in the UK.