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    What to Do if Your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is Lost or Stolen?

    The UK has high living standards and a favorable investment environment. That’s why so many people want to live there. However, in order to legally study or work in the UK, a foreigner needs a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

    This is the basic identity document in the UK. This document confirms your right to work or study in the UK. In addition, a biometric permit is your pass to those public services and privileges that you can legally count on in the UK.

    What is a biometric authorization document?

    A biometric permit in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a permit and the right of its holder to reside, work or study in the UK. This document identifies your identity at the bank, police, hospital.

    The holder of such a biometric card is not required to have a valid passport with him at all times, but is obliged to show his BRP card along with his passport at the border, when travelling outside the UK and when returning back to the UK.

    The biometric authorization document reflects data such as your name, date and place of birth, immigrant status, as well as “physical” facts – fingerprints and a photo. BRP can also inform you about the conditions in which you live in Britain and whether you have access to public funds (for example, to the healthcare system).

    The British biometric permit card is made of polycarbonate and contains a built-in chip, which makes it more secure from counterfeiting.

    What should I do if I lost my BRP or if it was stolen?

    1. Try to find your BRP. If you face a lost biometric residence permit, then it will take time, effort and money to replace it, so make sure that you really cannot find your card before taking further action.
    2. If you’ve confirmed that your Biometric Residence Permit has gone missing or been stolen, you can report it from within or outside the UK. To report your BRP as lost or stolen, use the provided link. The online form will guide you through the process, asking detailed questions to ensure your report is thorough.

    If my BRP is lost, stolen or damaged in the UK

    If the validity period of the biometric authorization document at the time of loss is at least three months, then you must inform the UK Home Office and apply for a replaced BRP within three months.

    If you do not apply for a replacement biometric permit within three months of the loss, you may face a fine of up to £1,000, and you may also need to leave the UK.

    If the validity period of the biometric permit was only three months or less, then the next steps will depend on whether you plan to stay in the UK longer:

    • If you do not plan to continue staying in the UK after the expiration of the BRP, then you should only report the loss or loss of your card.
    •  If you are going to come back to the UK after leaving within three months after your visa expires, then you have to write an application for a replacement BRP.
    •  If you plan to continue your stay in the UK after the visa expires, apply for an extension, and when the visa is issued, you will immediately receive a new BRP.

    To request a replacement BRP, you’ll need to complete the online application. Access the online form through this link.

    If my BRP is lost, stolen or damaged outside the UK

    If you are faced with the biometric card lost outside the UK, then be sure to report it.

    You will not be able to get a replacement biometric residence permit if you are outside the UK. To re-enter the UK, you must apply for a “BRP replacement visa”. Obtaining such a visa will allow you to make a single entry to the UK. Upon your return to the UK, you will be able to apply for a replacement biometric permit document. You must do this within three months after you reported the loss or loss of a biometric authorization document.

    If you have been outside the UK for more than two years and you have lost the documents confirming your right to stay in the UK, then you can apply for a visa for returning residents.

    How long does BRP replacement take?

    It usually takes 8 weeks to process an application for a BRP card replacement in the UK, and the UK Home Office does not guarantee that the card will be issued within the specified time frame. It should also be borne in mind that it may take another 1-2 weeks in BRP replacement processing time for a new card to be delivered.

    An application from outside the UK for a “BRP replacement visa” allowing you to return to the UK must be reviewed within three weeks.

    How much does it cost to replace a BRP?

    First of all, it is worth remembering that you face a fine of £1,000 if you left the UK and did not report the loss of a biometric residence permit or theft within three months.

    The cost of the BRP replacement is £56. If you are not in the UK, in order to restore your BRP, you will first need to obtain a ‘BRP replacement visa’ costing £154 which will allow you to enter the UK to restore the document.

    If you have dependants requiring a BRP, each individual must submit a separate application.

    What should I do if I find my old BRP card after applying?

    If you find your biometric residence permit after applying for a replacement BRP, inform the police about the loss or theft, you need to get rid of it in a safe way, because it will be canceled and you will not be able to use it. Cut it into small pieces and send them to the Home Office at the following address: Returns Unit PO Box 195 Bristol, BS20 1BT.

    How can we help?

    Serling Law has extensive experience in all matters of UK immigration law. If you have any questions about the replacement of a biometric card after loss or theft, or if you would like to consult with us regarding your specific visa or residence permit circumstances, please contact us. Our team consists only of highly qualified and experienced lawyers who will help you as soon as possible.

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