In light of the coronavirus crisis and UK lockdown, we are aware of disruption and changes to the standard BRP collection process.
For example, the date from which your biometric residence permit will be available for collection is no longer noted on the UKVI decision letter. We understand this is because the Home Office cannot guarantee a production or delivery date.
Also due to the coronavirus pandemic, many post office branches are closing and branch opening times are changing at short notice.
As a result, we have been contacted by many concerned sponsors and visa holders enquiring whether it is possible, given the current lockdown and restrictions on travel, to change the BRP collection location?
Below we summarise the current position for collecting BRPs based on the latest Home Office guidance.
What is the standard BRP collection process?
The BRP collection process to follow will depend on how you made your visa application.
In-country visa applications
No collection is necessary as your permit will be dispatched to you by courier. It will be sent to the address stipulated in your application form.
Delivery is usually expected between 7 to 10 days of receiving your Home Office approval letter. If the permit does not arrive within this timeframe, you should report it missing straight away.
It is possible to change the delivery address, but you would need to update the address details before your decision letter is sent.
Applications made from outside the UK
Visa holders entering the UK from overseas are required to collect their Biometric Residence Permit from a Post Office.
You have to collect your BRP either within ten days of arriving in the UK or before the vignette sticker in your travel document expires – whichever is the later date. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to collect your permit within this time period.
The location is decided when the visa application form is submitted. It will be either be a specific Post Office branch near to your intended place of work or residential address, or it will be sent to your sponsor’s address, if you specified this option when making your application.
The Post Office address is noted on the Decision Letter issued by UKVI.
To collect your BRP, you have to be over 18 years of age. You will need to take with you your your passport or the travel document containing your vignette sticker.
Is it possible to collect your BRP from a different post office to the branch you nominated in your application?
In most cases, BRPs delivered by the Home Office to a post office cannot be re-directed to a work or home address, they are for collection only.
The post office will hold onto a BRP for at least 60 days, but this may be extended depending on Covid-19 measures that are or will be put in place.
Collection must be attempted before contacting the Home Office BRP Collection team for further advice.
In limited exemptions, it may be possible for the BRP to be re-directed to a nearer post office that provides the BRP service by following the redirection procedure. Note that BRPs cannot be redirected to any post offices that do not offer this service.
To arrange for a redirection
If the post office branch you wish to change collection to does offer the redirection service, you can follow these steps:
- Go into the post office branch where you want to arrange collection of the BRP
- You must take your decision letter (the letter received from UKVI) & passport with UK visa/travel document with vignette sticker
- If you have a partner, they must also go to the post office with their decision letter & passport with UK visa/travel document
- Post office staff will check the details and arrange for the BRP to be transferred to their post office branch
- You will pay £21.90 at the post office for each BRP to be collected
- The BRP should be available to collect from the new post office branch in 10 working days’ time
- You will return to the post office branch to collect the BRPs taking your passport for photo ID
If the post office you are collecting from is open, you should attempt to visit as soon as you are able to.
If the Post Office you are collecting from closes, they will hold a BRP securely for the duration of their closure. You should go to collect the BRP when that branch re-opens.
The Home Office BRP Collection team are not able to provide information on individual post office branches.
To check which local Post Office offers the BRP Collection Service, check the online branch finder service.
Collecting a child’s BRP
As is usual procedure, you must be nominated to collect a child’s BRP, even if you are the child’s parent.
This would be required for example if you are already in the UK and your wife and child are joining you.
If you are also collecting your own permit and are named on your child’s vignette sticker, you will not need to be nominated separately.
A request must be submitted online and the Home Office will tell you within 5 working days if you are approved to collect the child’s BRP.
It is possible to nominate another person to collect your permit, for example if you are sick with a serious illness or have a disability preventing you from being able to collect the BRP yourself in person.
The person you nominate must have bring with them either their passport, EU national identity card or BRP.
Again, a request must be submitted online, The Home Office will tell you within 5 working days if you are approved to collect.
You can get someone to make the nomination for you, for example a legal representative or employer.
BRP Collection FAQs
When should I collect my BRP
You could be fined up to £1,000 if you do not collect your BRP within ten days of arriving in the UK or by the expiry date on your vignette, whichever is the later.
What is a BRP collection location?
A BRP collection location is the place you need to go to pick up your biometric residence permit to prove your UK immigration status. This will either be sent to a post office branch local to you or to your sponsor. The UKVI decision letter will specify your collection location.
Can I change the collection location for my BRP?
It may be possible to rearrange your collection location in light of the disruption to post office services due to the coronavirus crisis. You will need to check first that the post office you wish to collect from offers the redirection service.
Latest update: 12 April 2020