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A biometric resident permit (BRP) is an essential document for anyone who wants to live in the UK for longer than six months. Despite this fact, many would-be travellers from Australia and South Africa either don’t know what a BRP is or how to get one.

Do I need a BRP card?

If you have any intention of settling in the UK for longer than six months you will need a BRP.

You must apply for a BRP if you want to:

  • Apply to stay in the UK for more than six months
  • Apply to extend a visa or settle in the UK
  • Transfer a valid visa to a new passport
  • Apply for certain Home Office travel documents


What exactly is a BRP and what is a BRP card?

A BRP is proof that you have been issued a valid UK visa. Once you have been awarded a BRP you will be issued a BRP card. This card is physical proof of your BRP.

You are required to have your BRP card on you when you arrive in the UK. It proves that you have been granted a valid visa. Do note, while you are not required to have your BRP card on you at all times, you will need it when travelling in and out of the UK.

How to apply for your BRP

If you want to stay in the UK for a significant amount of time, you will have to attend a biometric appointment at the testing centre most convenient for you – usually in your home country. At this test, immigration officials will need a copy of your finger prints, a photograph of yourself and your signature.

This process is not as straight forward as it may seem. Many Australians and South Africans have been turned away from biometric testing centres because they haven’t provided the correct information or have arrived with the incorrect documents. This causes delays and may even prove more costly than if you have left your application a tad late. There are, however, professional visa services that will make sure you go to the testing centre fully prepared so that you can get on with planning your UK adventure.

The 1st Contact Visas team can book your biometric appointment and ensure you’re fully prepared for your test. Call them on +61 1 800 039 300 (Australia) or +27 21 657 2180 (South Africa).


How to get your UK biometric card
Digital Mag

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