It has been noted that BRP (biometric residence permit) cards issued by the Home Office following successful visa applications are not being issued with any dates later than 31 December 2024. It is understood that this is to comply with EU rules that BRP cards without next generation encryption methods cannot be valid beyond that date.
Up until recently, this has only been impacting applicants for Indefinite Leave to Remain, who will have noticed that instead of the usual 10 years, their cards were not valid beyond December 2024.
However, applicants now applying for 5 years’ leave will also now notice that their BRP cards are not valid for as long as they were expecting - i.e. less than the 5 years applied for. Understandably, this is causing concern amongst some migrants who have paid for 5 years’ leave and are confused as to why the BRP card shows less than this.
Despite a distinct lack of a public announcement on this, the Home Office have now finally confirmed the above, and have also confirmed that despite the BRP card expiring on 31 December 2024, that does not affect the length of the leave actually granted. This means that if your visa should expire in January 2025 then that is still the case - even if the BRP shows a date of December 2024.
The Home Office have also stated that such cards will be replaced free of charge later in 2024, so that the second card will show the final remaining part of the leave to remain. Unfortunately, the Home Office have not given any detail yet as to how this will work in practice, and so there is no information on how long the process will take, whether it will be automatic or need an application, or whether there will be any period during which the individual does not hold a valid BRP card (which would potentially make travel difficult). They have stated that they will provide information on how to replace such a BRP card around June/July 2024. We do not expect any further information until that time.
Note that although the migrant’s permissions to stay and work in the UK are not technically affected by the BRP card issue, employers/Sponsors will need to be aware that they still need to carry out the usual Right to Work checks in respect of an expiring BRP, and will need to take the usual procedures in respect of the new BRP when it is received.
We will of course issue further newsletters in due course as and when more information becomes available, although nothing further is expected on this for the time being.
For assistance on Right to Work checks and all other immigration compliance matters, please contact one of our team.