Changes are coming into force from 10 October to streamline the issuance process of biometric residence permits, which entitle holders to study and live in the UK. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) letters will now be issued electronically via email, instead of physical documents. The process is being revised for visas applications to stay in the UK for a period of 6 months or more, which is typically the minimum stay.

A biometric residence permit can be used to confirm someone’s identity, right to study or enable access to public services or benefits in the UK, if eligible, however despite the name of the residence permit, individuals are not able to use the BRP to confirm a right to work or rent. The typical reasons for obtaining a BRP are if the intended stay is longer than 6 months, and a visa needs to be extended to cover this period. It is available to people who are intending to settle in the UK and provides authorisation. In other cases, an application can be made to transfer a visa to a new passport or access certain Home Office travel documents.

An alternative to the BRP, which confirms immigration status and permission to live while studying in the UK, is to download the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app as not everyone will meet the needs to obtain one. This provides proof of identity as applications will not be considered.

The Biometric Residence Permit contains a migrant’s biographic and biometric information.