biometric visas

New biometric residence permit for UK visa applicants

by Ray Clancy on August 14, 2015

A new biometric residence permit is being introduced in the UK for non-European Union visa applicants who want to stay in the country for more than six months.

The new requirement also comes alongside stricter rules for travel visas. Successful visa applicants receive a 30-day travel visa and be required to travel within this 30-day period or the visa will expire.

visaIf the 30-day travel visa expires before the holder travels to the UK they will be required to apply for a replacement and pay another fee in order to travel to the country.

Once visa holders arrive in the UK they will need to find their nearest Post Office to collect their biometric residence permit (BRP) and this must be done within 10 days of arriving in the country.

An immigration department spokesman said that visa applicants will receive a letter with their visa decision providing instructions on what they need to do once in the UK to get their permit. Those applying from within the UK will get their BRP sent to them by post.

“The BRP is an important document. It provides proof of permission to be in the UK, for how long and the conditions attached to the stay, and can also be used as identification,” the spokesman explained.

The BRP will include the applicant’s name, date and place of birth, fingerprints and a photo of their face. It will also include their immigration status and any conditions of their stay as well as information on whether they can access public funds such as benefits and health services.

Applicants living outside of the UK will need to go to a visa application centre so that their biometric details can be recorded. The process takes about five minutes and involves a digital photo being taken and fingerprints scanned on a glass screen.

The new card brings the UK in line with other European countries and is the result of a European Union wide directive. It does not affect people needing visas for a holiday to short business trip.

People who already have a long term visitor visa valid for up to 10 years will not be affected by the change and can continue to use their visa as normal.

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Thumbnail image for New biometric residence permits for Germany

New biometric residence permits for Germany

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