Tag Archives: biometric

Travelling without BRP

November 2016 –  The lack of clear published guidance on this particular problem has recently led us to approach the Home Office to seek clarification.

Below you will find verbatim extracts from their answers to our questions.

When asked about re-entering the UK without a BRP after the expiry of the temporary vignette, the Home Office stated: ‘The Border Force Officer (BFO) will undertake various mandatory checks including confirming the passenger’s nationality and identity as stated in a valid passport. The BFO, in absence of a BRP, can verify the immigration status of the passenger using the government database. It the officer is satisfied the passenger can be granted entry and the passport endorsed with an open date stamp and a manual annotation of the BRP’s unique number above the endorsement’…’the passenger will normally be encouraged to collect their BRP before travelling again’.

 Although this seems to indicate that travelling without BRP in these circumstances might be possible, in our experience most BFOs will strongly advise against it.

As airlines are not supposed to carry visa nationals without a valid visa, the guidance states that: ‘ visa nationals are likely to experience significant barriers to returning to the UK as carriers will be reluctant to provide carriage to an individual for whom they may be liable to a penalty. In the case of a isa national who arrives without their card or any other evidence of their continuing leve, unless there has been prior agreement by the port Border Force Higher officer or the Immigration Liaison Managers (ILM) for them to travel, carriers liability action must be considered.

If you need Immigration legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Delays with issuance of BRP cards

November 2016 – Tier 2 Sponsors: How to deal with delays with Biometric Residence Permit issuance.

Under the current process, a sponsor worker coming to the UK for more than 6 months will normally be granted a temporary vignette of 30 days during which they are expected to enter the UK.  Upon entering the country, they will have 10 days to collect their Biometric Residence Permit  (BRP).

Over the last few months we have seen an increasing number of cases when sponsored workers have been unable to collect their BRP before the expiry of the temporary vignette.

This has been particularly problematic for sponsors as they find themselves unable to carry out the right to work checks and as a result run the risk of being found non-compliant with the risks that this entails.

The other issue that has stemmed from the delays is the difficulty, if not altogether the inability, a sponsored migrant faces when travelling out of the UK once their temporary vignette has expired.

The lack of published guidance on this particular issues has led us to approach the Home Office to seek clarification. Below you will find verbatim extracts from their answers to our questions.

Right to Work Checks

 With regard to the Right to Work Checks, we asked the Home Office what their position was when the temporary vignette had expired and the BRP card had yet to be manufactured.  Their answers read as follows:

‘If a migrant has entered the UK with a 30 day vignette but this has expired before their BRP has been manufactured, an employer will be able to establish the migrant’s continuing entitlement to work by contacting the Home Office employer checking service. An employer who holds a certificate of sponsorship in respect of a migrant who has been admitted to the UK with a 30 day vignette will know that production of a BRP is in train’.

When we enquired whether a sponsor should consider suspending an employee until the card is manufactured / ready for collection / delivered, the Home Office re-iterated:

‘ The sponsor has a responsibility to ensure the migrants they employ have the right to work in the UK. In a case in which the manufacture of a BRP has been delayed beyond the expiration of the 30 day vignette, the employer will be able to confirm that the migrant has a continuing right to work in the UK by contacting the employer checking service. An employer who has sponsored a Tier 2 migrant worker to enter the UK will have issued a certificate of sponsorship, will know that production of a BRP is underway and may not therefore need to contact the employer checking service’ 

We also asked what would happen during a PBS audit if a sponsor was unable to produce a copy of the BRP as the result of the manufacturing delays.  The Home Office referred to the caseworkers guidance, which states:

Employers must keep copies of passports and biometric residence permits for all sponsored migrants to comply with their record keeping duties as a sponsor’.

Unfortunately, the guidance does not deal specifically with occasions where production and delivery of a BRP is delayed. The Home Office have however indicated that they encourage pragmatism in their officers when conducting visits and collating and gathering evidence of compliance.  They further commented:

‘ where there has been a legitimate delay we would seek to seeking to obtain evidence of that delay, for example by the way of correspondence and to ensure that the sponsor has a recordable audit trail of the issue. This would then be followed up by the visiting officer post visit. Verification of leave status is fundamental and standard part of all of our visiting activity’.

In terms of the Immigration status of a migrant once the temporary vignette has expired, the Home Office confirmed that:

‘if production of a BRP has been delayed beyond the expiry of the vignette, the migrant still has the benefit of the full period of leave granted to them’.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

April 2013 – Same day Service – Changes to the premium PEO appointment booking process.

Since 6th April all customers booking an appointment with the PEOs are required to pay a £100 appointment fee per applicant in advance of attending their appointment.

The remaining £275 of their appointment fee is then be paid on attendance at the PEO, along with the standard application cost.

This process will also apply to representatives. The £100 fee is not an additional fee and was part of the newly revised £375 fee for premium service appointments which was announced on 25 February.

This change has been introduced by the UKBA in an attempt to reduce the number of wasted appointments and is also part of a wider series of IT and process changes to help them tackle the problem of harvested appointments.

Under the new process representatives continue to request appointments in exactly the same way (ie by emailing the representative booking request sheet duly completed on Monday at 9.00).  Once requests have been processed and appointments confirmed a booking reference number (BRN) is be sent.  Upon receipt of this information the representative is be required to call the Immigration Enquiry Bureau (IEB)  between 09:00 and 15:00, to make a payment of £100 for each person named on the appointment. Calls to pay the appropriate fee must be made by 15.00 on the next working day following confirmation of the appointment. If  payment is not made within this time frame, the appointment is cancelled automatically.

The payment information are transferred to another team in the Home Office who process the payment. Confirmation of payment is then dispatched by post to the registered cardholders address. (Subject to the postal service, this should reach you within 5 working days).

It is pivotal to note the importance of keeping the receipt in a safe place since the Home Office will not supply a replacement if lost and the applicant will not be allowed into the PEO without it.

Cancellations or rebooking can only take place up to 5  working days before the appointment. Failure to do so within this timescale or non-attendance will result in loss of the £100 appointment fee(s).

Since the launch of the new process there has been a large number of reported problems with the payment process and the delivery of the payment receipt. It is safe to say that it may take a few weeks before the current issues are ironed out. Even then with 3 entities (Home Office, the external payment processing provider and the Royal Mail) involved in the process, there is a lot of room for errors.

Whilst the lead time remains 6 to 8 week.

For further information please contact us.


Biometric Residence Permit

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) regulations

From 29 February 2012 more foreign nationals will be issued with biometric residence permits (BRPs).

From this date, all applications for leave of more than six months made in the UK by foreign nationals from outside the non-European Economic Area (EEA) will require the applicant to enroll their biometrics (fingerprints and digital facial image). If successful in their application, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will issue a BRP as evidence of immigration status and entitlements in the UK. This includes refugees and those granted settlement.

BRPs are an important step in fighting immigration abuse and illegal working and make it easier for employers to verify a foreign national’s right to work in the UK.

Employers can download guidance on checking biometric residence permits and their security features from the UKBA’s website and call their helpline to check validity.

The phased rollout of BRPs means increasing numbers of people from outside the EEA will be required to enroll biometrics.

The UKBA has contracted with Post Office Ltd to provide customers with 100 locations around the UK.

From spring 2012 the UKBA plans to launch a new online checking service to provide quick and easy real time checks on the permit and the holder’s identity and right to work.