A Biometric Residence Permit or BRP can be used to prove your identity, your right to study and right to access public services or benefits. This article examine the actions that you need to take if your BRP card is lost or stolen and the process.
Biometric Residence Card (BRP)
Given the purpose of a Biometric Residence Permit, it includes various information, such as:
- Personal details including name, date of birth and place of birth
- Biometric information including fingerprints and photograph
- Immigration status and any conditions/restrictions of stay
A Biometric Residence Permit may include other details such as whether the holder has access to public funds in the UK.
Since 6 April 2022 it has not been possible to use a Biometric Residence Permit to prove a right to rent or work in the UK. You can read more about the Changes to Right to Work Checks from this date.
Lost or Stolen BRP Card
A Biometric Residence Permit is an important identity document and it is vital this document is kept safe. If you lose your Biometric Residence Permit, or it is stolen, you will need to report this as soon as reasonably practicable.
Failing to report a lost, stolen or damaged BRP may result in a financial penalty of up to £1,000.
You may wish to keep a copy of your Biometric Residence Permit once received so that you have access to the relevant information in the event it is lost or stolen.
You will need to travel with your Biometric Residence Permit as this must be shown at the UK border alongside your passport or travel document. It is not advisable to travel outside the UK without your Biometric Residence Permit unless you are prepared to make an application for a replacement vignette in order to return. This is addressed further below.
What Happens if I Lose My Biometric Residence Permit or It Is Stolen?
Once you are sure that your Biometric Residence Permit has been lost or stolen, it can be reported as such from inside or outside the UK.
You should be contacted within one working day of reporting it.
If you cannot report the Biometric Residence Permit as lost or stolen yourself, or are unable to, you can ask a charity, employer, university or legal representative to do this for you.
How do I Report my BRP Card as Lost or Stolen?
You can use this link to report your BRP as lost or stolen.
You will see that the first question is whether you are currently in the UK or outside the UK; the process differs accordingly.
Biometric Residence Permit – Lost or Stolen Report Process In-country
Biometric Residence Permit valid for 3 months or more
If your Biometric Residence Permit was valid for 3 months or more you should report it and apply for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit.
You must do this within 3 months of losing the Biometric Residence Permit or within 3 months of it being stolen.
This is very important as failing to apply for a replacement within 3 months can result in being made to leave the UK or a fine of up to £1,000.
What if my Biometric Residence Permit was valid for 3 months or less?
If your Biometric Residence Permit was valid for 3 months or less, ensure you do one of the following:
- Report it as lost or stolen if you do not intend to remain in the UK.
- Make an application for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit if you plan to leave and re-enter the UK within 3 months of the expiry date.
- Apply to extend your visa/leave if you intend and would like to stay in the UK after the expiry date.
If you apply to extend and your application is granted you will receive a new Biometric Residence Permit.
Apply for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit in the UK
In order to apply for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit you will need to use the online application process. You can access the online form: here.
A fee for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit is currently £56. Once an application is processed and hopefully granted you will need to allow time for the Biometric Residence Permit to be delivered.
It is important to note that an application needs to be completed for each dependant applying for a Biometric Residence Permit as well.
Biometric Residence Permit – Lost or Stolen Report Process Outside the UK
Unfortunately, you cannot apply for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit if you are outside the UK. You will need to follow a different process. You will need to apply for a replacement BRP Visa. You can access the link to apply: here.
Once issued, the replacement BRP Visa vignette will let you re-enter the UK once only. The current cost is £154.
Once you return to the UK you will then be able to apply for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit using the process above. You must apply for a new Biometric Residence Permit within 3 months of reporting it lost or stolen unless you have a good reason. A good reason may include an inability to return to the UK during that time. You may wish to seek advice in this regard from a legal representative.
Processing times for an application for a replacement Biometric Residence Permit visa at the time of writing are currently 3 weeks. You can access the information: here. You will of course want to factor the processing times in when making practical arrangements.
What if I Find My Lost or Stolen Biometric Residence Permit After Reporting It – What Should I Do?
You will want to be sure that you cannot find your Biometric Residence Permit before reporting. Once you have reported it as lost or stolen, you will not be able to use your Permit if you then find it. You will still be required to follow the process set out above.
If you do find your Biometric Residence Permit and have reported it as lost or stolen you will need to take further action once your new valid permit has arrived. You will need to cut your older Biometric Residence Permit into pieces and post it to the Home Office. The current address is as follows:
PO Box 195
What if I Find a Lost or Stolen Biometric Residence Permit – What Should I Do?
If you're in the UK, you can currently post the Biometric Residence Permit in a windowless envelope to the following address:
PO Box 195
If you're outside the UK, you should hand in the Biometric Residence Permit to either the police, or to the nearest British embassy or consulate.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.