Thu | Jan 21, 2021

Immigration Corner | Applying for a biometric residence permit

Published:Tuesday | January 21, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

Under what circum-stances will I receive a biometric residence permit. Also, as a holder, please advise what changes in my circumstances would I be obliged to report to the British authorities.


Dear HS,

Persons will receive a biometric residence permit (BRP) if they apply to go to the United Kingdom for longer than six months or extend their visas to longer than six months. Persons will also receive a BRP if they apply to settle in the United Kingdom; transfer their visas to a new passport; and/or apply for certain Home Office travel documents.

Just for information purposes, persons do not have to apply separately for a BRP. They will get one automatically if their visas or immigration applications are approved, or if they are replacing an older document.

A BRP will include a person’s name, date, and place of birth. It will have that person’s fingerprints and a photo of their face, this is known as their biometric information. It will also include that person’s immigration status and any conditions of their stay. It will also state whether he/she can access public funds; for example, benefits and health services. Please note that the BRP may have a National Insurance number printed on the back of the BRP. However, not all BRPs have this – it will depend on factors such as the date it was issued and the holder’s visa status.

A person will need a BRP for several reasons, such as to confirm their identity; right to study or work in the United Kingdom; and/or right to any public services or benefits that he/she may be entitled to.

Persons must report any changes if they are in the United Kingdom and have either got a BRP; or applied for a BRP but have not yet received a decision. Please note that how persons make changes will depend on what they are reporting.

Persons can change their address without having to apply for a new BRP. They need only to report a change of address. The form that persons will need to complete will depend on whether they have a valid BRP or if they have applied but have not had a decision letter.

They must report all other changes to their circumstances. How they do this will depend on what needs to be changed.

Changes to name or personal details

A person must apply for a new BRP straight away if any of these things change:

Name, for example, if she got married;


Facial appearance;

Date of birth, for example, if it was wrong;


How persons report the change and apply for a new BRP depends on whether he/she has permission to stay in the United Kingdom temporarily (‘leave to remain’) or permission to settle in the United Kingdom (‘indefinite leave to remain’).

Please note that a person must apply for a new BRP within three months. A person can be fined up to £1,000 or have the stay shortened if he/she does not comply.

Applicants must report any other changes to the details they had provided in the BRP application, including if:

• He/she gets a criminal conviction;

• He/she separates from their partner;

• Any of the applicant’s children stops living permanently with him/her.

He/she should fill in the change of circumstances form and send it to the address on the form.

All the best.

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). Email: