The Home Office, in 2015, announced a fresh system called the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) for allotting visas to Tier 4 student. A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a protected identity card that encompasses biometric information and personal details of students who have consent i.e. a visa to enter into the United Kingdom for a period of more than 6 months. When an individual is granted the visa, he/she will be given a monograph (sticker in the passport) that is valid for a period of 30 days. If an individual is not able to travel inside these 30 days, he/she will be required to get a new monograph (vignette). An individual will be required to gather his BRP within 10 days of arrival in the UK as the visa just enables the individual to enter in the UK and is valid for a period of 30 days. The BRP defines the definite length of an individual’s visa. A BRP is imperative as it confirms an individual’s right to work or study in the UK, identity of an individual, and right to any benefits or public services that an individual is entitled to. Students coming to UK can apply for multiple loans in England and Wales, avail for maintenance grants and special support or get advanced learner loans.

Biometric Residence Permit

Additionally, Universities, in the UK, are also eligible to receive BRP on the behalf of an individual. To make sure the BRP is provided or received by the University, an individual can enter the Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code of the respective university into the BRP Collection screen. It is imperative to note that the ACL code must be entered post the declaration stage as mentioned of the visa application form (declaration section is usual afterward the Immigration Health Surcharge (HIS) payment and earlier to the visa application fee payment). If an individual opts to get the BRP delivered to the University, the process of registration will be faster and simpler. In case an individual is a new student, he/she can collect BRP as portion of the individual’s registration process. On the other hand, if an individual is an existing student, he/she will be communicated by the University and provided details regarding collecting the BRP. However, if an individual does not enter the ACL code, for university delivery, BRP will be sent to a local post office and he/she will be able to make a specially travel to get the BRP. If an individual does not have a BRP and he/she is a new student, then in such a scenario the individual will be unable to fill the registration form for the course.

A BRP encompasses the following:

  • An individual’s date of birth, name, and place of birth.
  • An individual’s photograph of the face and fingerprints (this is an individual’s biometric information).
  • An individual’s immigration status and any conditions of his/her stay.
  • Whether a person can access public funds, such as health services and benefits.
  • Additionally, an individual can have his/her National Insurance (NI) number printed on the reverse side of the BRP card. Usually, not all BRPs have the NI number – it is determined by factors like visa status and the date on which it was issued.

Applying for a BRP

Applying for a BRP

An individual will be asked to give his photo and fingerprints (‘biometric information’) as part of his/her immigration or visa application. An individual will be required to produce a digital photo of their face, give their finger imprints by putting their finger on a glass scanner, and provide their signature. Usually, this process will takes not more than 5 minutes and each activity is performed digitally without any ink being involved. Also, an individual will not be required to remove their head covering if someone is wearing it because of medical reasons or due to religious sentiments. For differently able citizens, an individual will only be required to provide a digital photo.

In case of children, they must be escorted by a guardian, parent, or any individual who is above 18 years of age and has legal accountability of the child/children. In case of children, they are not required to provide any signature and additionally, no fingerprints is required if they are below 6 and filing the application from the UK or under 5 and an filing the application from outside the United Kingdom.

An individual is required to pay £19.20 while giving their biometric information at a Post Office branch or else the cost is encompassed in the application fee.

Reporting any issue

If an individual faces any issue with respect to the BRP, he/she must report it within 10 days. Issues can be any of the following.

  • If the name or date of birth or date of place of an individual is incorrect.
  • If the BRP is damaged when it reaches the person.

In order to report the issue, an individual must keep the following information handy – his/her BRP number, their full name as mentioned on BRP, date of birth of an individual and nationality of the person as mentioned on the BRP, and his/her postal address or email address.

In case the BRP is lost, an individual can report about it from both within the UK and outside the UK. To report the loss, please provide details such as full name, address, postal address, nationality, and e-mail address.

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