Visa update - Biometric Residence Permit Rollout

From 14th December highly skilled workers, temporary workers and their dependants successfully applying to extend their stay under Tiers 1 and 5 of the Points Based System will receive a Biometric Residence Permit.

The Biometric Residence Permit is a residence permit which holds a migrant's biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric features (facial image and fingerprints), and shows his/her immigration status and entitlements while he/she remains in the UK.

Biometric Residence Permits replace vignettes (the stickers used to confirm immigration status) and other paper based immigration status documents with a secure, polycarbonate identity card.

Biometric residence permits make it simpler for employers to identify an overseas national's right to work in the UK as well as making it easier for foreign workers to demonstrate they are here legally and allowed to take employment or access other entitlements in the UK.

Biometric enrolment

In-country applications for further leave to remain under Tiers 1 or 5 made prior to 14th December will not require biometric enrolment but, applications made on or after 14th December will require biometrics to be enrolled.

Biometric enrolment is a quick and clean process. A digital photograph of the applicant's face is taken, then their fingers are scanned - there is no ink or mess. The process takes less than five minutes.

If a person makes an application to extend their stay in the UK by post, they will send them a letter after we have received the application. They will be able to enrol their biometrics at one of 17 Crown Post Offices using their walk-in service or at one of 11 Home Office biometric enrolment centres by appointment only.

If they make a premium application (applicants wishing to receive a decision on the same day as their application) at one of the public enquiry offices, they will enrol their biometric information at the same time. They must book an appointment to make an application in person.

Updates to the applications forms for Tiers 1 and 5 will be published on the UK Border Agency website shortly.

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