Fri | Apr 19, 2019

Immigration Corner: I would like to stay a while in the UK

Published:Tuesday | September 22, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am being told that if I would like to visit the United Kingdom for an extended period, I would need to obtain a biometric residence permit. Is this true? I have not heard of this before.

- BK


Dear BK,

There is now a new requirement for visa applicants who are desirous of visiting and staying in the United Kingdom for longer than six months to obtain a biometric residence permit (BRP) on arrival.

A person will need a BRP if he/she would like to apply to go to the United Kingdom; apply to extend his/her visa or settle in the United Kingdom; transfer his/her visa to a new passport; or apply for certain Home Office travel documents.

It should be noted that an

applicant will not have to apply separately for a BRP, but when a person makes his/her visa or immigration application, he/she has to give the personal data that appear on the BRP.

After making an application for such a visa, if a person's visa application is successful, he/she will receive a 30-day travel visa in his/her passport, and that person must travel within this 30-day travel period or the visa will expire.

If the 30-day travel visa expires before he/she travels, that person will need to apply for a replacement and pay another fee in order to travel to the United Kingdom. The successful applicant will receive a letter with his/her visa decision providing instructions on what he/she will need to do once in the United Kingdom. Once the person arrives in the United Kingdom, he/she must collect the BRP within 10 days from the post office chosen when the application was made for the visa.

The BRP is an important document as it provides proof of a person's permission to be in the United Kingdom, the time allowed, and the conditions attached to the stay. It can also be used as identification. If there are problems with the length or conditions of leave, then the applicant may be able to apply for an administrative review if it is thought that there was a mistake in the length or conditions of the leave given. Applicants will have to pay £80 and apply within 14 days of receiving the BRP. Persons should be aware that the £80 will be refunded if there was a mistake, and they will be given a new BRP with the correct leave or conditions of leave.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK).