Delays in Getting Your Biometric Residence Permit
What is Biometric Residence Permit?
Biometric Residence Permit is important as it holds your biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints). It also confirms your immigration status and entitlements while you remain in the UK. In other words, this is evidence of your right to stay in the UK.
Why Do You Need It?
You’ll need to have this document to confirm your identity as part of the process for opening a bank account in the UK. You’ll also need it to verify your right to work and study here and whether you can claim benefits.
For some immigration categories, your Biometric Residence Permit will also confirm your National Insurance Number.
If Your Biometric Residence Permit is About to Expire?
Your Biometric Residence Permit will show the date of the issues and the expiry date. It is crucial to renew your leave to enter/leave to remain (visa) before it expires. Otherwise, you will be at risk of becoming an overstayer. This will have drastic implications and may negatively affect the outcome of all your future visa applications.
What is Supposed to Happen after Your Submitted Your Biometrics?
The Home Office says that ‘for all BRP cards regardless of application reason, we advise applicants that they should expect delivery within 10 working days of receiving the notification of their decision.’
Within 2 working days of receiving your decision notification, you should receive a delivery notification from gov.notify detailing the delivery consignment reference of the BRP.
On the day of delivery, TNT should also contact you by email, confirming that delivery will take place and the delivery consignment details. Having received the delivery notification, you should contact TNT as soon as possible if there is a delivery problem.
If you did not get the delivery notification or did not receive your BRP within 10 working days of the original decision notification, then there is a problem, and you should address it immediately.
What Can You Do if You Did not Get Your Biometric Residence Permit?
If your Biometric Residence Permit does not arrive within 10 working days of getting your ‘decision letter’, most likely something went wrong, and you need to take active steps to resolve this.
There are 3 options for dealing with this:
- Dealing with the delivery company TNT
- Dealing with the Home Office
- Getting external assistance
Getting Help from the Delivery Company TNT
If you received an email or text from the delivery company TNT telling you when your Biometric Residence Permit is likely to arrive, you’d need to contact them first.
To do this, you’ll need your consignment number, which is a 9-number code. You can track your Biometric Residence Permit HERE. However, if the problem is not with the delivery of your BRP but rather with issuing it, you are likely to get the following response:
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the delivery of this Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
We have passed your enquiry onto your caseworker, as the Delivery team is unable to assist you further.
We advise travel arrangements should not be made until after the BRP has been received.
Please do not reply to this email, as this is NOT a delivery issue.
BRP Delivery Team’
Report the Problem to the Home Office
In this case, you need to complete a special form to alert the Home Office that you did not receive your BRP. You can find it HERE.
The form is an easy and straightforward one, consisting of the following six questions:
- Were you due to collect your document from the Post Office?
Usually, the answer will be ‘no’, as the Home Office usually sends BRPs to home addresses.
- Do you have a consignment number?
In many cases, you will not even have the consignment number. You’ll only have it if the Home Office confirms via gov.notify that they’ve dispatched your BRP.
- Have you received your decision by letter or email?
Responses by post will prolong the process. So, choosing responses by email will quicken things up.
- Would you like your BRP sent to the address that is on the letter from the Home Office?
If you changed your address after applying, the answer should be ‘no’. If you are planning to change address in the near future, you need to notify the Home Office on the day when you move to the new address.
- What are your personal details: name, surname, date of birth, country of nationality and passport number
This information will help them find your file on the system.
- How should we contact you about your BRP?
I always advise corresponding with the Home Office in writing only. This will ensure clarity and help you provide proof of communication, if needed, at a later stage.
Once you’ve completed the form, at the last page, you’ll get a chance to check all the answers you’ve provided and change them, if necessary. Once you are happy with your answers, you should confirm that you have personally completed the form. If someone else helped you complete the form – you’d need to provide their details and then click the ‘SEND’ button.
In the Ideal World
In the ideal world, you should get a non-automated response to your query within 5 working days. If you don’t, you can get assistance from your local MP.
Getting External Assistance
Local MPs are incredibly helpful, and their involvement in chasing your BRPs should help you get the results quite quickly.
First of all, you need to find out who is your local MP. You can do it HERE.
Then you need to book an appointment to see them in person. Alternatively, you can send them an email.
Irrespective of your way of communication, you’ll need to gather all the relevant documents regarding your case and summarise it to your MP. It will also be incredibly helpful if you prepare a chronology of facts where you need to write down all the events in chronological order. At the top of this document, you need to insert your full name, nationality, date of birth, your Home Office reference number, email address, and full postal address. All these details will help the Home Office locate your file and answer your MP’s request.
Several MPs told me in the past that the Home Office aims to respond to their enquiries within 2 weeks. Although this is not always the case, they are prompt and never ignore MPs’ requests.
How to Prove Your Immigration Status Without BRP?
What if, while you are waiting for the Home Office to send your BRP, you need to confirm your immigration status to your employer, a landlord, the NHS or the UK government?
For your employer, you can create a ‘Prove Your Right to Work to an Employer’ share code. You need to complete this form.
Once you’ve submitted your request, your employer can view your right to work here.
If you would like to rent, your employer is under the obligation to check your immigration status. You can prove your right to rent online by completing THIS FORM.
The NHS and Other Government Departments
If you need to prove your right to reside in the UK and your immigration status to the NHS or a government department, you need to explain that you did not receive your BRP and encourage them to contact the Home Office directly.