Learn about Biometric Residency Permits, including any recent changes
What is the BRP?
The Biometric Residency Permit is the ID card that will be issued to each family member once they have arrived in the UK. It is the size of a bank card, which can be used as proof of identity, and to confirm the right to work or study in the UK and the right to access any public services or benefits refugees are entitled to. It is sent to a named person in your Sponsorship Group who will pass this onto the family after they arrive in the UK. They should keep this card safe. If they ask you to hold a photocopy of this card, the family should be made aware of how you will keep this, and how and when it will be destroyed. The BRP is not sufficient documentation for travel outside of the UK.
As the BRP contains personal, identifying information, BRP holders will naturally be very cautious about where this is sent or leaving this anywhere. Help the family to explore when a certified copy (your Job Centre may be able to help with making a certified copy) is acceptable.
Decide as a Group how you will support family members to manage their own BRPs.
Incorrect Names or Dates of Birth
The BRP will be sent to a named member of your Group 7-10 working days after the arrival of the family in the UK. You must pass this on within 24 hours of receipt. Help the family to go through each one carefully; if there are incorrect names or dates of births on these cards you should alert your Home Office Contact Officer as soon as possible.
Length of BRPs
Prior to February 2021, all BRPs expired 5 years after the person arrived.
In March 2021, the Home Office clarified that BRPs were issued for a shorter period of time although this does not affect the length of the time the family is able to stay in the UK.
As of April 2021, all refugees arriving through Community Sponsorship are given 5 years leave to remain in the UK, after which they are able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
“We were required by the EU to short date BRPs which do not incorporate the next generation of encryption technology to the 31 December 2024.
This meant that some BRPs have been issued with a validity date shorter than that of the leave granted. The date restriction does not change any of the conditions or validity of the leave. We had intended to resume issuing BRPs for the full duration of the leave (or 10 years in the case of Indefinite Leave to Remain) once the existing EU restrictions fell away in January 2021. However, in line with our wider ambition to move away from BRPs to a purely digital status by 2024, we are maintaining the practice of short-dating BRPs.
Everyone issued a BRP can use it to demonstrate their right to work to an employer and their right to rent to a landlord through our online checking services; simply go to gov.uk/prove-right-to-work or gov.uk/prove-right-to-rent“
You do not need to tell UKVI if your BRP expires on 31 December 2024 but you have leave to stay longer.
UKVI will update their information on how to update your BRP in early 2024. You do not need to do anything and your immigration status will not be affected. Further details are available on gov.uk
For family members with short-form BRPs, the end date relates to the expiration date of the card only. If they are asked to complete forms stating how long they can be in the UK they should use the end of their leave to remain. This will be their arrival date +5 years and not the expiration date on the BRP.
If a family is applying for Travel Documents, they will be asked to insert the expiration date of their BRP – this must be the same date as on the card.
If a family loses, or has their BRP stolen, they should report this to the Home Office as soon as possible.
Changes to details
If the family members you are supporting change their name or address after their arrival in the UK, they should inform the Home Office as soon as possible in order for their BRP to be updated. A fee will be applied for changes to a BRP, and in some instances, biometrics will need to be updated by visiting a Home Office centre to re-register. If you are supporting a family member to change their name by deed poll for instance, you should help them to fully explore the costs associated with this change. Find out more information about updating BRP details here: gov.uk/change-circumstances-visa-brp