Changes to the visa process are due to be introduced for applicants travelling to the UK for more than six months.
From 15 April 2015, Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) for non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals travelling to the UK for more than six months will begin to be issued to visa applicants in China. The changes will affect those applying to join family in the UK, as well as students and workers applying for a longer stay visa.
From this date, applicants will receive a 30 day sticker in their passport instead of a ‘vignette’ with the full grant of leave. Applicants will be required to collect their BRP from a post office within ten days of arrival in the UK. The BRP card can then be used as proof of the right to work, study and access public services in the UK.
Applicants will receive a letter which provides detailed information about how to collect their BRP on arrival.
Will this affect me?
The change will only affect non-EEA nationals travelling to the UK for more than six months, such as those applying for a Tier 4 student visa, employment visa or to join family in the UK. If you are applying to go on holiday or on a short business or study trip, using a visit visa, you will not need a BRP.
How do I apply for a visa after 15 April?
The application process is largely the same. If you want to go to the UK for more than six months, you will be asked for additional information when you complete your online visa application, which will include the postcode of your new address in the UK. The main difference is that when you arrive in the UK, you will need to go to a post office to collect your residence permit.
How much will this cost?
There is no additional fee and the visa application fee remains the same.
I’m not sure what date I will travel to the UK, what should I do?
Make sure you know the date you will travel to the UK before you apply. Your temporary visa will only be valid for 30 days once you receive it and you will need to travel within this period. If you receive your temporary sticker, and can’t travel during the 30 day window, you will need to apply for a replacement.
What happens if I decide to change my travel date after I receive my 30 day passport sticker?
If the short term vignette has expired or will expire before you travel then they will need to apply for a new short term vignette.
How will I know where to collect my BRP?
When you apply for your visa you will be asked for the first part of the postcode of your new address. You will be given the details of the post office when you receive your decision letter.
What can I use the BRP for?
The purpose of the BRP is to provide evidence of your immigration status. You will need to show it to demonstrate your entitlement to work or to access benefits or public services.