Biometric residence permits will now be mandatory for all first time visa applicants to UK

February 6, 2015 - 

The UK government is making it mandatory for all first time visa applicants to the UK to apply for a biometric residence permit (BRP), according to a report by Relocate magazine.

The move is an extension of the current rule, which requires non-European economic area nationals to apply for a BRP only when granted permission to extend their stay in the UK for more than a six-month period.

All foreigners will be issued with a short validity “travel” sticker that allows them to enter the UK and collect their BRP within 10 days of arrival, instead of the previous system of simply having the visa sticker placed on their passport or travel document.

As a result, applicants will now have to ensure they enter the UK within the valid time period of the initial “vignette” and collect the BRP within 10 days of their arrival.

Despite these changes, the visa application fee will remain at the same price. The new initiative will be rolled out in phases, country by country, over a four-month period starting next month.

The BRP, which was introduced in 2008 as the result of European Union regulation 380/2008, is a secure document containing biometric data including fingerprints and a photograph.

The BRP is an easy way to prove that the holder is legally allowed to work in the UK. It is one of the principal documents that employers can accept when conducting ‘right to work’ checks.

With the new overseas BRP, employers will be able to either conduct the right to work check using the BRP before employment commences (as well as a second check when the employee’s permission to be in the UK and work expires), or allow employment to commence before the employee is able to collect their BRP, which will result in two checks.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.