The UK Rules
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Biometric Residence Permits

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Check to see if the new biometric residence permits apply to your situation. This guide explains how a BRP stores your personal data and how to report a problem.

WHAT IS A BRP? Biometric identity cards are immigration documents.

BRPs are about the same size as the new style photo-driving licence in the United Kingdom.

They store your personal information (e.g. name, gender, date of birth). A BRP identity card also contains a scanned photograph and figure prints.

The United Kingdom does not require you to make a separate application to get a BRP. It is an automatic process once a visa or immigration application gets approved.

A biometric identity card also gets issued when replacing older immigration documents. As a rule, people receive biometric residence permits if they:

Information on Biometric Residence Permit

Personal data and information stored on a BRP includes the card holder's:

There may be a National Insurance number printed on the back of a BRP. But, this information is not printed on all BRPs. It usually depends on the date it got issued and the visa status of the card holder.

Using Biometric Residence Permits UK

Biometric Residence Permit Card Rules in the United KingdomA biometric residence card is like a passport in many ways. Thus, you can use a BRP as confirmation of your:

BRP Rules Help and Guidance

The GOV.UK website has guidance publications about biometric residence permits. They provide further help if you are applying from inside or outside the United Kingdom.

Biometric Residence Permit Personal Data

Scanned BRP Fingerprints and Photograph

The 'biometric information' stored on a BRP card contains fingerprints and a photograph. You will need to give your prints and photo as part of your visa or immigration application. To complete the process you will need to:

  1. Have your face photographed using a digital format.
  2. Place your fingers on to a glass screen to get scanned.
  3. Provide them with your signature. You must give them a valid reason if you are unable to give a signature.

As a rule, it takes less than 5 minutes to get your fingerprints and photo scanned. The modern process does not involve any ink so there should be no mess on your fingers.

There will be cases where people have a physical inability to provide fingerprints. In this situation you do not need to give fingerprints if you do not have any fingers. They will only take a digital photo of your face and note it on your records.

Note: Those who wear a head covering for religious grounds or medical reasons will not need to remove it.

BRP Card for Child

A parent or guardian must accompany children under 16 years old. If that is not possible then someone over 18 (with the legal responsibility) should go with the child.

BRP rules do not require children to provide their signature. In some case they will not need to give their fingerprints either, if:

Where to give Biometric Information

The process used to make the visa or immigration application will determine where to go to give the biometric information. Those who apply within the United Kingdom should:

Note: You will need to find a visa application centre to apply from outside the United Kingdom.

Biometric Residence Permit Fee UK

As a rule, the cost of the BRP card gets included in your visa application fee. But, there will be an extra charge of £19.20 if you use a Post Office branch to submit your biometric information.

Also in this section...

BRP Collection: Check the different ways to collect your biometric residence permit.
BRP Problems: What to do if it the card does not arrive and how to report a problem.
BRP Replacement: The process and fee for replacing a lost or stolen biometric identity card.
BRP Change of Circumstances: Reporting changes while you have a visa or BRP in the UK.


Biometric Residence Permit Rules in the United Kingdom