What is a BRP Card?
A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP Card) is a vital document for anyone residing in the UK with a visa or immigration status. It serves as an official form of identification and is critical for proving one’s immigration and residency status in the United Kingdom. The BRP Card contains personal details, fingerprints, and a photo, making it a secure and reliable form of identification.
Lost or Stolen BRP? – Actions to Take and Its Consequences
Given its importance, being responsible for your BRP card against theft or loss, is vital. If one of these events does take place, an immediate repot of the circumstance is required. Reporting the loss or theft of your BRP is not just a procedural step; it’s a legal necessity.
The Consequences of Not Reporting
Failing to report a lost, stolen, or damaged BRP card can lead to severe consequences, including a financial penalty of up to £1,000. This demonstrates the UK government’s emphasis on the document’s security and the holder’s responsibility to maintain its integrity.
Tips for BRP Card Holders
It’s advisable to keep a photocopy or digital copy of your BRP. This provides you with the essential details of your permit in case it gets lost or stolen, aiding in the reporting and replacement process.
Travel Considerations with a BRP Card
Your BRP Card is an essential travel document. You’re required to present it along with your passport or travel document at the UK border. It’s crucial not to travel outside the UK without your BRP, as returning without it would necessitate applying for a replacement ‘vignette’, a process that can be complicated and time-consuming.
How Do I Report a Lost or Stolen BRP?
Once you are certain that your BRP has been lost or stolen, you must report it immediately, either from within or outside the UK. This will help ensure that the necessary steps can be taken to mitigate any potential misuse of your lost document.
Legal Assistance in Reporting
If personal circumstances prevent you from reporting the loss or theft yourself, you can seek professional legal assistance. At primus Solicitors, our legal experts specialise in lost or stolen BRP reporting a can fill out and submit the required applications on your behalf.
Lost or Stolen BRP Whilst In the UK?
If your BRP was valid for three months or more, the process involves two critical steps: reporting the loss or theft and then applying for a replacement. This needs to be done within three months of the incident. Delaying this process beyond the three-month window can result in significant repercussions, including being made to leave the UK or facing a fine of up to £1,000, as after this expiry date you will be deemed an ‘overstayer’ and as such an illegal immigrant,
Situations with BRPs Valid for Less Than 3 Months
For BRPs with less than three months’ validity remaining at the time of loss or theft, the course of action depends on your future plans:
- If you do not intend to remain in the UK: Report it as lost or stolen.
- If you plan to leave and re-enter the UK within three months of the expiry date: Apply for a replacement BRP.
- If you intend to stay in the UK beyond the expiry date: Apply to extend your visa. Upon a successful extension, a new BRP will be issued.
Application Process for Replacement BRP within the UK
Step 1: Confirm the Need for Replacement
- Determine that your BRP is indeed lost or stolen.
- Understand the significance of replacing your BRP promptly to maintain legal status.
Step 2: Access the Online Application
- Call Primus Solicitors for BRP replacement.
Step 3: Upon Instruction We Will Complete the Application Form
- We’ll fill out the correct application form with accurate personal and biometric details.
- Our immigration solicitors ensure all required fields will be completed to avoid delays in processing.
Step 4: Prepare Necessary Documentation
- Gather any documents that may be required to support your application.
- This may include a copy of your lost BRP, passport, and proof of address.
Step 5: Pay the Application Fee
- The current fee for BRP replacement is £56.
- Payment is typically made online during the application process.
Step 6: Submit the Application
- Review your application for accuracy.
- We will submit the application once you are certain all details are correct.
Step 7: Await Confirmation
Step 8: Check Your New BRP
- Upon receipt, verify that all details on the new BRP are correct.
- Report any discrepancies to the UKVI immediately.
How Much is a BRP Replacement Fee From Inside the UK?
The current fee for replacing a lost or stolen BRP card within the UK is £56. However, if you are seeking to replace an expired BRP card, you will need to apply for an extension to your current visa. Also, please note that you MUST apply for a BRP extension before the expiry date, or you risk becoming an illegal ‘overstayer’
Replacement BRP’S for Dependents
It’s important to note that if you have dependents on your visa, each one of them will require an individual application for their BRP replacement. This means that for families or groups with multiple dependents, each person must go through the application process separately, with the associated fee applicable for each application.
Process for Lost or Stolen BRP Outside the UK
How Much Is a Replacement BRP Outside UK?
The current fee for a BRP replacement is £154, and it’s a mandatory step to re-enter the country legally. Unfortunately, if you’re outside the UK when your BRP card is lost or stolen, you cannot apply for a direct replacement. Instead, you need to apply for a replacement BRP Visa, allowing you a single entry back into the UK.
Procedure Upon Return to the UK
After returning to the UK with your replacement BRP Visa, you must apply for a new BRP within three months of reporting the original as lost or stolen. If extreme circumstances don’t allow you to apply, exceptions may be made, such as an inability to return to the UK during that timeframe. It’s advisable to seek legal advice in such situations.
What Is the Processing Time for Receiving a Replacement BRP Card?
The standard service for BRP replacement application made outside the UK typically takes 3 weeks (15 working days) and ones made inside the UK up to 8 weeks (36 business days) to process your replacement card application. It is crucial to ensure that your visa does not expire during this period, as you would be deemed ‘illegal’ – This remains your responsibility.
What to Do If You Find Your Reported Lost or Stolen BRP
Once you’ve reported your BRP as lost or stolen, even if you subsequently find it, you cannot use the found BRP. This is because the report triggers a cancellation process to prevent any fraudulent use of the document. Therefore, you must continue with the process of obtaining a replacement.
Disposing of the Found BRP
If you find your BRP card after having reported it lost or stolen, and once you have received your new valid permit, you must destroy the old one. This involves cutting the old BRP into pieces and sending it back to the Home Office at the following address:
PO Box 195
This step is crucial to ensure that the old, now invalid BRP card doesn’t get misused.
What to Do If You Find a Lost or Stolen BRP Belonging to Someone Else?
Procedure Within the UK
If you find someone else’s lost or stolen BRP within the UK, you should help by sending it back to the Home Office. This can be done by posting it in a windowless envelope to the same address as mentioned above. This ensures that the BRP can be properly dealt with by the authorities and potentially returned to its rightful owner.
Actions to Take Outside the UK
In cases were you find a lost or stolen BRP Card while you’re outside the UK, the procedure is slightly different. You should hand over the BRP to either the local police or the nearest British embassy or consulate. This action helps in securely managing the document and assisting the owner in retrieving it or proceeding with the necessary steps for replacement.
The Biometric Residence Permit is an essential document for non-EU nationals living in the UK, and its safety is of utmost importance. In this we at Primus aimed to have highlighted the key steps to take if your BRP card is lost or stolen, both within and outside the UK.
It’s crucial to remember the importance of promptly reporting a lost or stolen BRP card to avoid potential fines and legal complications. Additionally, the process of applying for a replacement, whether in the UK or from abroad, requires attention to detail and an understanding of the procedural nuances.
Seeking Professional Advice
For further information regarding a BRP card, or for assistance with reporting, applying for a replacement, or any other UK visa-related queries, Don’t hesitate to Contact Our Professional Immigration Solicitors. Our Legal Team in Manchester is available for consultation and can provide expert guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.