World news story

Changes to visa process for applicants travelling to the UK for more than 6 months

Biometric residence permits to launch in Pakistan

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


From 18 March 2015, Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) for non-EEA nationals travelling to the UK for more than six months will begin to be issued in Pakistan. The changes will affect those applying to settle in the UK, as well as students and workers applying for a longer stay visa.

From this date, applicants will receive a 30 day ‘vignette 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 right to work, study and access public services in the UK. The card will also need to be presented when travelling in and out of the UK, along with a valid travel document,such as a passport.

Applicants will receive a letter, if their application is successful, which provides detailed information about collecting their BRP. BRPs will be introduced globally throughout 2015, in line with EC regulations.

For full guidance please visit

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 points-based system, or settlement visa. 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. For full guidance please visit

How do I apply for a visa from 18 March?

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.

Will there be an additional cost?

No, 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 vignette sticker, and can’t travel during the 30 day window, you will need to apply for a replacement.

For full guidance please visit

What can I use the BRP for?

The purpose of the BRP is to provide evidence your immigration status. You will not need to carry it at all times, but you will need to show it to demonstrate your entitlement to work or to access public services.

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.

Why is this change being introduced?

The change is to meet EC Regulations, which require Member States, when granting leave for more than six months, to issue a standard format residence permit document which is to be the sole evidence of leave.

How can I find out more?

Full details will be published on our website on 18 March. From this date, if you apply for a visa valid for longer than six months, you will receive a letter explaining exactly what to do.

Published 13 March 2015
Last updated 18 March 2015 + show all updates
  1. Changes in the dates
  2. First published.