Biometric permits now mandatory for all staying in UK for 6 months or more

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From 1st December 2012, anyone granted permission to stay in the UK for over six months must apply for a biometric residence permit. These new requirements will, the UKBA says, enable 'employers and other bodies to check the immigration status and entitlements of foreign nationals.'

The UKBA says that the new cards will also help it to check applicants' details against various UK databases including its own database and police fingerprint records. The new permits will also make life easier for those holding the new permits because they are 'simpler to understand are more convenient for foreign nationals living in the UK to use.'

The UKBA issued a statement saying, 'We have been rolling out biometric residence permits to different visa categories over the last 4 years. This means that applicants have been enrolling their biometric information (fingerprints and facial images) to apply for a biometric residence permit at the same time as making their application to stay in the UK. Some people will have applied to stay in the UK before there was a requirement to provide biometric information in their category, and will not have provided their biometric information. If these people are granted permission to stay on or after 1 December 2012, either at first consideration or after a successful appeal, they will need to apply for a biometric residence permit.'

If you applied before 1st December 2012 but your application is approved after 2012, you will be required to apply for a biometric permit. The UKBA will write to you to explain how this is done.

The biometric residence permit will give details of your name, your date and place of birth and carry a photograph and fingerprint information. It will also show what your immigration status is.

You will need to show it to your employer or your education provider before you can start your work or study. It will also be acceptable proof of your right to be in the UK and it will help you access public services.

You will need to take it with you if you travel abroad. You will need to show it to UKBA staff on leaving the UK. On your return journey, you will have to show it to immigration officials when you start your journey and you will have to show it to UKBA officials when you arrive in the UK. It does not replace your passport which you will also need to take with you. is a specialist visa consultancy with nearly twenty-five years of experience dealing with visa applications. We are OISC registered. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to the UK or your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.