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How to Apply for a Replacement If your BRP Card Is Lost or Stolen

We receive many queries from migrants about how to make an application for a replacement biometric residence permit (BRP) that has been lost or stolen inside or outside the UK. Your BRP is an important document as it proves your right to live, work, study, and rent.

If you have lost your BRP card or it has been stolen, you may understandably be worried and want to know what to do next. In this article, we explain how to make an application for a replacement biometric residence permit if yours has been lost or stolen.

What do you need to do if your BRP Card is lost or stolen?

If your BRP has been lost, stolen, damaged, or lost, the process you will need to follow depends on whether you are in the UK or outside.

If you lost your BRP Card in the UK

You can apply for a replacement BRP card if you are in the UK. You will first need to report1 your lost BRP card or stolen BRP card (if it is damaged, you will not need to report this; just apply for a new BRP). We also recommend reporting your BRP as stolen to the police (you should also ask them for a police crime reference number and report). You’re your lost BRP card is reported, you can then apply for a new BRP. The Home Office advises that you must apply for a new BRP within three months of losing it, or you risk receiving a fine of £1,000.

If your lost BRP card only had three months or less remaining, then you only need to report it as lost or stolen if you plan to leave the UK once it expires. If you do plan to stay in the UK, then you can simply apply to extend your visa, and you will receive a new BRP automatically.

If you lost your BRP Card outside the UK

If you are outside of the UK, the steps you will need to follow are as follows:

  • report your BRP as lost or stolen to the Home Office. To report your BRP lost or stolen outside the UK, you will need to complete the online form1 on the home Office website. We also recommend reporting your BRP as stolen to your local police station (remember to ask them for a copy of the crime report).
  • apply for a replacement BRP visa online2. This is not a replacement BRP. It is a visa that will allow you to return to the UK and permit you re-entry at the border. There is a cost of £154 for a replacement BRP visa.
  • apply for a new BRP once you get back to the UK. You will need to do this within one month of your arrival. Simply follow the process explained above for BRP replacement within the UK.

It is also important to note that if you have been living outside of the UK for over 2 years, you will need to apply for a Returning Resident visa3 instead of a replacement BRP visa.

BRP Card and the EU settlement scheme

Those with EU Pre-Settled or Settled Status are not issued with a BRP. Instead, they can evidence their right to live, rent, and work in the UK by using the online immigration status checking service4 on the Home Office website.

If you have a Biometric Residence Card, it is possible to apply for a replacement if you are not from the EU/EEA, you have Pre-Settled or Settled Status, you have reported your card as lost/stolen (or it has expired), and you are in the UK5.

How to apply for a biometric residence card replacement?

If you are in the UK, you can use the Home Office website online to apply for a replacement BRP. To apply, you will need to:

  • complete the online application form6
  • pay the BRP replacement fee
  • upload any documents required to UKVI (see below for a list of these documents)
  • have your biometrics taken (fingerprints and a photo) at a UKVI service centre – you will be advised how to book an appointment and the location of your nearest service centre.

Information and documents needed for a biometric residence card replacement

When applying for a replacement BRP, you may need to provide some of the following information and documents:

  • Name/address/email/phone number
  • How long you have been living at your current address
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Date and place of birth
  • Nationality
  • National insurance number (if you have one)
  • Current visa type
  • How long you have lived in the UK
  • Any absences from the UK of more than six months
  • Home office reference numbers (if you have any documents with ‘Our Ref’ or ‘Case ID’ from the Home Office)
  • Your BRP number (if you have it)
  • When your BRP was stolen or lost
  • Passport details including place of issue, issue date, and expiry date
  • Police report (translated if necessary) confirming your BRP was stolen

As part of the application process, you will be advised which documents you will need to provide to UKVI, if any. You will need to provide your BRP if it is only damaged. In addition, if your passport details have changed, you may need to send this too.

Processing time for biometric residence card replacement (how long does BRP replacement take)

It can take between 3 and 8 weeks to process a replacement BRP from within the UK.

How much does it cost to replace a BRP card?

The current Home Office BRP replacement fee is £56. This is the BRP replacement fee inside the UK. If you are applying for a replacement BRP visa to return to the UK, this typically takes up to 3 weeks to process.

What If a lost or stolen BRP Card is found while waiting for a new BRP card?

The Home Office advise that if you find your BRP card if you are waiting for a replacement, it is important to note that that will no longer be able to use your old BRP. This means that if you are outside the UK, you will still need to wait for the replacement BRP visa before you can return to the UK. The steps to follow if you find your BRP card are as follows:

  • Cut your old BRP into pieces (you will need to cut through your personal details, the royal coat of arms, and the gold biometric chip)
  • Send the destroyed BRP card to the Home Office at the following address:

Returns Unit
PO Box 195
Bristol
BS20 1BT

How to check if my BRP Card is still valid?

Below your name on your BRP you will see the valid until date. This is the date when your BRP expires. If you cannot find your BRP, your BRP expiry date will normally match up with the expiry date on your visa.

Can you travel outside the UK without a BRP Card?

While you can leave and travel outside the UK without your BRP card, you may struggle to prove your immigration status when you come back to the UK. For this reason, we always recommend keeping your BRP card with you when you leave the UK. As discussed above, if you have lost your BRP and you are outside the UK, you will need to apply for a replacement BRP visa.


References:

1 GOV.UK: Lost, stolen or damaged BRP

2 GOV.UK: Replacement BRP visa

3 GOV.UK: Returning resident visa

4 GOV.UK: Check immigration status online

5 GOV.UK: Replace UK residence card

6 GOV.UK: Online application form for BRP replacement

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