An Update for Applicants with Expiring BRP Cards
Are you a holder of a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) in the UK? If so, read on for more information pertinent to BRP card expiry. This physical card is a crucial document, confirming your identity, immigration status, and various conditions of your stay. However, changes are underway as the UK government transitions to a fully digital system for managing immigration statuses by January 1st, 2025.
If your BRP indicates an expiry date of December 31st, 2024, you might wonder about its implications. This expiration date, seemingly premature, aligns with the government’s gradual withdrawal of physical cards. The decision to phase out BRPs predates Brexit and is partly driven by international standards mandating upgraded encryption technology.
For those affected by this transition, there’s no need to rush for a BRP renewal. Instead, individuals with physical Biometric Residence Permits are advised to register for a UKVI account on the Home Office website during 2024. This registration won’t impact your current permission or immigration status. Through this account, you’ll access an eVisa and a share code via the ‘View and Prove’ service, facilitating proof of your immigration status to employers, landlords, and other relevant parties. If this appears daunting Taylor Hampton Solicitors can support you in this process. Our team has many years’ experience navigating the procedures for Immigration to ensure a successful transition.
Do Biometric Residence Permits holders need to carry actual travel documents?
Although these digital tools are available, the Home Office still recommends carrying physical travel documents and visas for the time being. Throughout 2024, the Home Office will provide updates and guidance regarding the complete phase-out of physical BRPs, ensuring a smooth transition for all affected individuals.
However, if your BRP expires before December 31st, 2024, and you possess Indefinite Leave to Remain, you’ll need to follow the standard procedure for BRP renewal. This process typically involves working through the online application, with decisions usually rendered within six months. Subsequently, you’ll also need to register for a UKVI account to access an eVisa before the end of 2024.
Eligibility for naturalisation
At Taylor Hampton Solicitors, we’ve encountered many individuals with Indefinite Leave to Remain who are also eligible for British citizenship. However, they may be unaware of their eligibility for naturalization. We’ve assisted numerous clients in successfully obtaining British citizenship based on their Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
To apply for British citizenship, applicants must be over 18 years old and demonstrate good character. They must have resided in the UK for at least five years, with precise residency requirements. For those married to British citizens, the qualifying period is reduced to three years.
Applicants must provide details of any absences from the UK during the qualifying period and be free from immigration restrictions. Additionally, proficiency in the English language is required, either through testing or relevant qualifications. Applicants also need to pass the Life in the UK test, assessing their knowledge of British society and culture.
Are there any exemptions?
Applicants may be asking themselves if there are any exemptions given there are so many requirements? Certain exemptions apply, particularly for applicants over 65 or those with long-term physical or mental conditions. If you possess Indefinite Leave to Remain and your BRP is due to expire soon or has already expired, you can proceed with a British citizenship application without renewing your BRP. For others, we can assist by explaining these to you during the process when you instruct us.
In conclusion, the phasing out of Biometric Residence Permits marks a significant shift in the UK’s immigration landscape. While change may bring uncertainties, it also opens doors to new opportunities, including the pathway to British citizenship for eligible individuals. As these transitions unfold, legal support and guidance are invaluable in navigating the complexities of immigration procedures. Please contact Leena Chouhan, our Head Of Immigration on: 0044207 427 5972