Launch of Biometric Residence Permits in South Africa
Changes to visa process for applicants travelling to the UK for more than 6 months
From 31 July 2015 UK Visas & Immigration will begin to issue Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) for non-EEA nationals travelling to the UK for more than six months. 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 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.
Applicants will receive a letter, if their application is successful, which provides detailed information about collecting their BRP. Full guidance can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 in a points-based system route, or for a settlement visa. If you are applying for a short-stay visitors visa, you will not need a BRP.
How do I apply for a visa after 31 July?
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 designated post office to collect your residence permit within 10 days.
How much will this cost?
There is no additional fee for the BRP, 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 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, study or to access benefits or 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 you 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 UK address. You will be given the details of the post office where you will need to collect your BRP on arrival in the UK when you receive your decision letter.
How can I find out more?
Full guidance can be found here.
From 31 July, if you apply for a visa valid for longer than six months and are successful, you will receive a detailed letter with your 30-day sticker explaining exactly what to do to collect the BRP in the UK.