BRPs introduced to overseas applicants

The Home Office recently announced that any non-EEA national applying from overseas for permission to stay in the UK (for more than six months), will be required to pick up a Biometric Residence Permit.

Successful applicants will be required to collect their BRP’s within ten days of their first arrival in the UK.

The roll-out of this new process for overseas applicants, has been phased in since 18th March 2015, with additional countries entering the scheme in April and May. As of 31st July, the process will apply to all overseas nationals.

The visa application process remains largely unchanged, with applicants required to provide their intended date of travel, a UK address and post code. The applicant will then also have to collect their BRP from a designated Post Office on arrival in the UK.

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These fresh changes will mean that successful visa applicants will receive a letter informing them of the decision, as well as a short term visa vignette in their passport, valid for 30 days from the expected date of travel, to give the migrant time to travel to the UK as well as collect their BRP.

There is no additional cost and on arrival, migrants will be required to present their specific documents – a valid passport or travel document containing the 30 day short validity vignette, the decision letter and any other information requested by a border officer.

Swift collection of the BRP is vital, especially where employers and educational establishments are required to carry out ‘Right to Work / Study’ checks on their employees & students and maintain accurate records of their continuing ability to remain in the UK. It is also important that the BRP is free from mistakes.

Immigration Health Surcharge introduced to migrants

An Immigration Heath Surcharge has now come into force as of the 6th of April 2015. This surcharge only applies to migrants entering the UK for a period in excess of 6 months.

The health surcharge is set at £200 per year and £150 for students, with the payment being accumulated by the Home Office when an immigration application is made. Dependants will be charged the same amount as their main applicant unless stated otherwise under the legislation. The health surcharge is to be paid fully upfront in relation to the visa application, for example if a non-EEA migrant is applying for a 5 year visa, the surcharge will be £1000 in addition to all the visa fees.

Certain exemptions are made regarding the payment, for example Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer migrants are not required to pay the surcharge and neither are those seeking asylum. However, an IHS number is still required as part of the application and without this, applicants will be refused.

If you require any information regarding these changes, do not hesitate to contact us.