Possible delays in the
production of Biometric
Residence Permits (BRPs)
15 November 2023
The Home Office has contacted some visa applicants this week via email advising them to prepare for possible delays in the production of their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
This is because the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is currently experiencing higher than usual volumes of enquiries, which is resulting in a delay in allocating National Insurance Numbers (NINO’s) to overseas applicants for printing on Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs).
Some applicants may have already been advised of their NINO, however the Home Office cannot print your BRP until the Department of Work and Pensions have completed their necessary actions. As the Home Office is aware of the delays and is working with the Department of Work and Pensions to resolve the issue as soon as possible, there is no need for applicants to contact either department.
What to do whilst awaiting delivery of your BRP
A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is a document issued to foreign nationals who have been granted a visa or immigration permission to live, study or work in the UK. Your BRP is an important document which provides evidence of your immigration status in the UK.
However, if you have been affected by the delay and are awaiting the delivery of your BRP, you will still be able to prove your status and access key services in the meantime.
If you need to prove your right to work, you should ask your employer to use the Employer Checking Service. Once the request is received the Home Office will confirm their right to work directly to the employer to allow them to fulfil their statutory duties.
If you need to prove your right to rent, you should ask your landlord to use the Landlord Checking Service. Once the request is received the Home Office will confirm their right to rent directly to the landlord to allow them to fulfil their statutory duties.
The NHS, local authorities or any other government departments that may need to confirm your status will be able to do so by contacting Status Verification, Enquiries and Checking (SVEC) at the Home Office. They will know how to do this using existing arrangements.
If you need to register with GP surgery in the UK, it is free to do so and you will not be asked to prove your immigration status. Guidance on registering for a GP is available here.
If you are accessing the NHS for secondary healthcare, the NHS will be able to confirm your status via established Home Office communication channels. If you are asked by the NHS, you can advise them that you are awaiting the delivery of your BRP. If the NHS wishes to confirm your status, they should contact Status Verification, Enquiries and Checking (SVEC) at the Home Office.
If you need to open a UK bank account, you should be able to do this without your BRP. The decision to open a bank account is a commercial decision for the bank in question, and the absence of a BRP should not impact a customer’s ability to open a bank account.
Immigration statuses are going digital
The Home Office is currently in the process of developing a digital immigration system. This means they are replacing physical documents with an online record of your immigration status. This is known as an eVisa.
All BRPs now expire on or before 31 December 2024, even if your immigration status (for example, your visa) allows you to stay for longer. This is because the Home Office intends to stop issuing BRPs beyond this date and will be transitioning to digital immigration statuses.
If you currently have permission to stay in the UK and have either a BRP, a BRC or other physical documents to prove your immigration status, you do not have to take any action now. Throughout 2024, the Home Office will provide updates on when you need to register for a UKVI account, and what you need to do.
Look out for the December edition of Insight coming soon, where we will be exploring the digital transformation of the UK’s immigration system in more detail. To get Insight delivered directly to your inbox, please sign up to our free news service.