Biometric Residence Permit
The biometric residence permit (BRP) enables your initial visa (valid for 6 months) to be extended to allow you to stay in the UK for up to 3 years. Biometric data such as digital photo and fingerprints are collected and stored on a database.
NOTE: the information on this page mainly relates to Ukrainian visa holders.
On this page
- Applying for a BRP
- What to do if your BRP application decision is taking too long
- What to do if you change your address before receiving your BRP
- What to do if your BRP has not yet arrived
- What to do if your BRP is sent back from a Post Office
- What to do if the details on your BRP are not correct
- What to do if your BRP is lost or stolen
- Have you had your replacement BRP application rejected or paid more than £38?
- How to report changes in your personal circumstances
- Proving your right to work and rent with and without a BRP
Applying for a BRP
If you used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ identity app when applying for your visa (see Applying For A Visa), or visited a Visa Application centre abroad to give biometrics, then you automatically applied for your BRP as part of that and should be able to collect it on arrival in the UK from your nominated Post Office. Check your Permission to Travel email for full details on how to do this and what documents to take with you.
If you did not use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app when applying for a visa, then when you arrive in the UK, you need to apply for a BRP using the following link:
This needs to be done within 6 months of arriving but we recommend doing this as soon as possible as it also can enable other things. If you need to leave the UK and re-enter, then it’s essential to have a BRP first.
A list of addresses will come up of your nearest biometric centres where you can give your data in person. Applying for the BRP and booking the appointment are two separate steps which both require you to create an account (they are two different IT systems). You can select to have an interpreter. It may look like it is ‘charging’ you for services, but it will then subtract those charges so you don’t pay anything in fact. Your BRP application, any interpreter services and biometric appointment are FREE OF CHARGE. You have to attend in person with your passport and QR Code which is on the email that is sent to give you the appointment. Have your Permission to Travel letter email on your phone also.
IMPORTANT: Keep your Unique Application Number (UAN) safe. In case of delays to your BRP, you may need to use this to prove your rights in the UK.
The BRP does not have a National Insurance number on it (unlike other BRPs). Once you get your BRP, check it is correct as you have 10 days to report any problems with it.
NOTE: The BRP card has a stated end date of 31 December 2024; do not panic. This is just the date on the physical card; you have 3 years leave to remain in the UK in the system. You will be updated when the time approaches of what to do next.
What to do if your BRP application decision is taking too long
There appears to be no published timeframes for when you can expect your BRP application to be decided, and some refugees are reporting a wait of several months. As long as you are not planning to have to leave the UK and return, you can continue to remain here legally while your BRP application is pending, even if your original 6 months visa has expired [this was confirmed with UKVI on 6th February 2023]. Keep your BRP application number (UAN) safe!
Landlords and employers are able to confirm your right to rent and work without a BRP (you have these rights from day 1 of arrival in the UK). However, it is NOT advisable to leave the UK without a BRP, as you will have difficulties re-entering the country.
If it has been several weeks since you applied, and you have an urgent situation which requires you to have a BRP (i.e. you need to get back to Ukraine), we suggest you try phoning the UK Visas and Immigration Ukraine Helpline on 0808 164 8810 to escalate, or you can submit an email query to firstname.lastname@example.org, providing the following details:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Passport number which was submitted with the application
- Case reference number if you have already received one
- A contact telephone number
- Full new delivery address (including postcode) if you would like to arrange delivery to a new address
- A photocopy of your endorsed Entry Clearance Vignette provided in your passport
- OR if you don’t have this, you can provide:
- A copy of your Permission to Travel letter
- Date you arrived in the UK, the port or airport, airline, flight ticket
Some people have reported their BRP arrived soon after they contacted their local MP and asked them to escalate the issue.
Note: we have not yet found a direct number that you can call to get an update on your BRP application status.
We were advised you should not reapply for a BRP as this will only cause further issues.
What to do if you change address before you receive your BRP
If you change address before receiving your BRP, you can use this form to report this to the Home Office: https://visa-address-update.service.gov.uk/.
If you change address after receiving your decision letter, but before receiving your BRP, and your BRP is due to be delivered to you, rather than a Post Office, make sure you also inform the delivery company TNT so that they will know to send it to the right address. There should be an email or text from them telling you how to do this.
You can contact the Post Office where you are supposed to pick up your BRP if you need to rearrange for it to be sent to a different location. There may be a charge for this.
What to do if your BRP has not yet arrived
If you have been told that your application decision has been successful, but you have not yet received your BRP, here’s what you can try.
If you applied for the BRP outside the UK (i.e. as part of your visa application using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, or an application via a VAC), follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/getting-your-brp-if-you-applied-from-outside-the-uk and use the ‘Report Now‘ button at the bottom of the page to report that your BRP has not arrived. This will allow you to report problems if you are supposed to collect it from a Post Office.
If you applied for the BRP from within the UK, your BRP should usually be delivered within 10 working days of your application decision letter from the Home Office. Follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/getting-your-brp-if-you-applied-from-inside-the-uk and use the ‘Report Now‘ button at the bottom of the page, if you have not received it after this time. Note that you should first contact the delivery company TNT to understand what’s happened to it.
What to do if your BRP is sent back from a Post Office
Your BRP is normally held at your nominated Post Office for up to 60 days.
Check with the Post Office to see if they still have it, even if it has been more than 60 days, just in case they didn’t send it back yet.
It’s not 100% clear from the Government website what to do if the Post Office sent it back to the Home Office, so we advise contacting the Home Office in this case, using the ‘Report Now’ button at the bottom of this page: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/getting-your-brp-if-you-applied-from-outside-the-uk
What to do if the details on your BRP are not correct
Carefully check the details on your BRP; if they are incorrect, you need to report it within 10 days. To report a problem, select the ‘Report a Problem‘ button at the bottom of this webpage: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/report-problem
What to do if your BRP is lost or stolen
Check what to do if your BRP is lost or stolen on this page: https://www.gov.uk/biometric-residence-permits/lost-stolen-damaged. You can apply for a replacement BRP and depending on how long your BRP had left on it, and whether you intend to stay beyond that time, you may also need to report it as missing. There are significant fines if you do not report it as lost or stolen when you are supposed to.
When applying for a replacement BRP, there are 2 steps to the proccess:
- Applying for the replacement BRP itself; which costs £38
- Booking a biometric appointment to give your biometrics again; which is FREE for Ukrainian refugees.
However, due to the poor system design, you may end up making one, or both of these common mistakes:
Mistake #1: When completing the application form for a replacement, there used to be a question on the form: “Are you recognised as a refugee in the UK, or have you been granted humanitarian protection by the UK?”. The answer to this question for those on Ukraine visa schemes is ‘NO’; you have not been granted official ‘refugee status’ (although we all understand you are indeed fleeing from war). Answering ‘YES’ to this question will have resulted in your application for a replacement being ultimately rejected as incorrect, with a very confusing message sent to you saying ‘your application has been rejected for non-payment’.
You need to submit a new application, answer ‘NO’ to this question and pay the fee of £38. We understand that these screens have now been updated to make it clear what option to select if you are a Ukrainian visa holder.
Mistake #2: When selecting the biometric appointment, there are ‘paid appointments’ costing £132, and ‘free appointments’. Ukrainians are entitled to free appointments, but it is not made clear on the system that this is the case. You must actually look for and select these yourself. The slots may be further away than the paid ones, but we are told that new slots are released at 9 am every morning.
If you made either or both of these mistakes, and ended up paying an extra £132 for the biometric paid appointments, UKVCAS (Visa and Citizenship Application Services) have said you can ask for a refund of the appointment fee, by submitting a complaint and providing your application UAN. You can submit a complaint at this link: https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/help-support.
If you need help with finding a biometric appointment, you can call the UKVCAS helpline on 0844 892 0232. Calls to this number are charged at £0.04 per minute plus the provider’s access charge.
If your BRP is lost or stolen and you are outside the UK, according to the Government guidance, you need to apply for a ‘replacement BRP visa’ to allow you to re-enter the UK once, this will cost £154. Once you’re back in the UK, you then need to apply for the replacement BRP.
Have you had your replacement BRP application rejected or paid more than £38?
If you have had your replacement BRP application rejected for ‘non-payment’ (even though you might have actually paid £132 for the biometric appointment), then it’s likely you selected the wrong immigration status when applying.
If you paid more than £38 for a successful replacement BRP, it’s likely you selected a ‘paid biometric appointment’ rather than the free one you are entitled to, and paid an extra £132. You might have paid £170 altogether.
You might even have made two separate applications, with different mistakes.
If you made either or both of these mistakes, and ended up paying more than £38 altogether for your replacement BRP, UKVCAS (Visa and Citizenship Application Services) have said you can ask for a refund of the extra money you paid, by submitting a complaint and providing your application UAN(s). You can submit a complaint at this link: https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/help-support.
How to report changes in your personal circumstances
See https://www.gov.uk/change-circumstances-visa-brp for more information on what to do if you have a change of circumstances. In some cases, such as changing your name, you will need to apply for a new BRP and there are serious consequences if you do not do so in the timescales required.
You do not need to apply for a new BRP if you change your address, but you do need to report it.
You do not need to apply for a new BRP if you have to apply for a new passport because your old one was expiring, but you do need to report your new passport details.
Proving your right to work or rent with and without a BRP
[This information was confirmed with UKVI on 6th February 2023].
If you have a BRP, or a UKVI Immigration Account, you can prove your right to work or rent (rent check is required in England only) by issuing specific ‘share codes’ online using your BRP number, or your UKVI account.
With a BRP, the right to work share code can be generated at this link: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work, and the right to rent share code (only required in England) can be generated at this link: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-rent.
With a UKVI Immigration Account, see this page for details on how to generate share codes online: https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status.
This information from the Home Office received on 22/05/23 may explain why some BRPs can’t be used to generate share codes for services like DVLA, or proving your identity when applying in the future to be a sponsor yourself under Homes for Ukraine, and why it’s an even better idea to use the ID check app when applying for your visa.
- “Those applying from overseas who use the IDV App also receive a Digital Status (so those with a UAN starting 3434) and will be able to use View and Prove to issue a share code to allow others to view their status.
- For all other applicants, while they can use their BRP to prove their right to wok or rent digitally on the Right to Work and Right to Rent services, that facility will be limited to just those services.”
If you have applied for a BRP (or a replacement BRP) but haven’t received it yet, you can provide the UAN (Unique Application Number) to the landlord or employer, who can check your rights online using landlord and employer checking services. They should know how to do this.
If you haven’t applied for your BRP yet, then your Permision to Travel letter or visa entry stamp in your passport can be used in manual document checks. You have the right to work and rent from day 1 in the UK, whereas you have up to 6 months to apply for your BRP, so landlords and employers shouldn’t be insisting on seeing a BRP for this. We are told the guidance has now been updated so that landlords and employers should be aware of this now, and they can call the landlord and employer general helpline 0300 790 6268 for more information also. It’s still possible many landlords and employers aren’t aware of this, so you may have to educate them.