What to Do When Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) Expires
We are always keen to remind migrants to the UK of the importance of keeping their visas and Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) valid at all times. By taking the appropriate action before your visa expires, you will avoid being classed as an overstayer and retain your right to stay in the UK, whether you are here as a visitor, business person, skilled worker, intra-company transfer worker, student, or for any other reason. But what happens when your Biometric Residence Permit expires?
In this article, we will explain what you will need to do before your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) expires if you are a current UK visa holder or if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and the process of Biometric Residence Permit renewal.
When will your BRP expire?
Your BRP card shows a ‘valid to’ date which shows when it will expire. The start and end date will typically match up with the dates on your visa, hence when your visa expires, so will your BRP. For those with indefinite leave to remain (ILR), BRPs are typically issued for ten years.
Since 2020, some people have been receiving short-dated BRPs with an expiry date of 1st December 2024, even if their visa or leave extends beyond this. According to the Home Office, this was originally to align with new EU encryption requirements.
If you have received a BRP with an earlier expiry of 1st December 2024, this does not mean your leave will expire on this date, and you will be able to prove the actual expiry date by using the Home Office’s online ‘view and prove’ service1. Furthermore, if you need to prove to a landlord or employer that you have residence of the correct duration, you can also use the online right to work2 and right to rent3 services.
What to do If your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) is about to expire?
If you have a BRP that is about to expire, the Biometric Residence Permit renewal process you will need to take depends on whether you have a visa to stay in the UK or if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain, as explained below.
If you have a UK visa that is about to expire
If you hold a visa to be in the UK, your BRP will typically expire on the visa end date. To renew your BRP, you will need to apply for a visa renewal. Once you have secured your visa renewal, you will also receive a new BRP.
The process and requirements for renewing your visa will depend on the type of visa you hold (e.g. Spouse Visa, Skilled Worker visa). If you need help with your visa extension, speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or email us email@example.com.
If you have ILR and your BRP card has or is about to expire
If you hold indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK and your BRP is about to expire, you can apply for a renewal of your BRP card (i.e. extend Biometric Residence Permit UK) by using the Home Office’s dedicated “Update, replace or transfer BRP Service”4.
To use the replacement BRP service (to renew Biometric Residence Permit), you will need to:
- complete the renew Biometric Residence Permit form – BRP(RC)
- pay the application Biometric Residence Permit renewal fee (see below for more details on the fees payable)
- have your biometrics taken by a UKVCAS service centre (fingerprints and a photo)
You will need to provide the following documents when applying for a BRP replacement:
- Proof of identity (e.g. passport)
- Proof of your continuous residence in the UK (this only applies if you were granted ILR more than 2 years ago) – suitable evidence may include council tax letters, utility bills, or a letter from your employer
- Passport photos
- Current BRP
- Evidence of name change (if appropriate)
The above list is by no means exhaustive. You will be given a full list of documents to provide when you complete the application form.
What if my BRP has expired and I am outside of the UK?
The Home Office advises that it is not possible to apply for a replacement BRP if yours has expired and you are not in the country. The only option, in this case, would be to apply for a “BRP replacement visa”, which will give you the permission you need to enter the UK at the border and then apply for a replacement BRP once you are here. The cost of a BRP replacement visa is currently £154. The guidance explains that it is only possible to apply for a replacement BRP in the UK and this must be done within 3 months of its expiry unless there is a good reason that is not possible (e.g. if you were unable to return to the UK in that time.
BRP renewal fee
The BRP renewal and BRP replacement visa fees are as follows:
- Biometric Residence Permit renewal fee: £56
- Replacement BRP visa (if you are outside the UK and your BRP has expired): £154
What happens after applying for a BRP card renewal?
Assuming you have applied to replace your expired BRP, or if you have applied for a new visa and you are waiting for your BRP to be automatically sent to you, it will normally be posted by courier to the address you provided in your application form. The Home Office guidance explains that most applicants will receive their BRP within 7 to 10 days of receiving their decision letter.
If you apply for a new visa outside of the UK, you will receive your new BRP card in the UK; this is normally collected from a UK post office or your sponsor (e.g. your employer).
How can Reiss Edwards help?
Thankfully, most BRP matters, including BRP renewal prior to expiry, are quickly and easily resolved, giving you the peace of mind that you have the documents you need to remain lawfully in the UK. If you need assistance with your visa extension or other UK immigration matters, our immigration lawyers and immigration solicitors will be able to assist you.
Updated on March 28, 2022
1 GOV.UK: Proving your immigration status
2 GOV.UK: Proving your right to work
3 GOV.UK: Proving your right to rent