Biometric Residence Permit Expiry
Sometimes it is the technical things that worry visa and UK settlement applicants. Often an Immigration concern is all about missing a vital date. Fears can go into overdrive and before you know it you are worrying about having to leave the UK (and even your loved ones) because you may forget a vital Immigration date. Some settlement and Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants are already questioning the expiry date on their biometric residence permits and rightly raising the question ‘has the Home Office got the biometric residence permit date wrong?’ In this blog we look at the biometric residence permit and expiry dates and the reasons behind the confusion.
OTS Solicitors are specialists in immigration law and can answer your Immigration questions, whether it is a query about your biometric residence permit expiry date or if it is in your best interests to make a British naturalisation application or if you are an EU citizen living and working in the UK to look at your Brexit options with you. For help with your Immigration questions call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.
Who gets a biometric residence permit?
If you have successfully applied to the Home Office for:
- A visa of more than six months duration
- A visa extension of more than six months duration
- The transfer of your visa to a new passport
- Some types of travel paperwork.
Then you should get a biometric residence permit from the Home Office. The permit (looking a bit like a plastic credit card) should be issued automatically by Home Office officials if your ILR application or visa application is successful.
Biometric residence permit expiry dates
If you have secured Indefinite Leave to Remain it isn’t unreasonable to assume that your biometric residence permit will not be time limited as, after all, Indefinite Leave to Remain as an Immigration status is without expiry or end date.
Likewise, if you have obtained a five year visa you would expect your biometric residence permit to expire at the same time as your visa expiry date. The dates are different and that is causing unnecessary anxiety among both visa applicants and those who have applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Why is my ILR biometric residence permit time limited?
Many biometric residence permits are issued with an expiry date of the 31 December 2024. That is now only four years away and so some Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants rightly question whether their biometric residence permit is correct. It is right as although you do have Indefinite Leave to Remain your biometric residence permit is time limited. That doesn’t mean you will have to leave the UK in 2024.
Why is my visa biometric residence permit time limited?
If you have just been granted a five year visa to remain in the UK you may question why your biometric residence permit expires in four years. Some applicants have questioned whether the Home Office officials can calculate dates or have they really only got a visa for four years rather than the five years that their Immigration solicitor assured them they would achieve?
The answer is that if your biometric residence permit gives an expiry date of the 31 December 2024 but your visa lasts for longer than the 31 December 2024 then it is your visa date that is the important date by which you either need to:
- Apply to extend your visa
- Apply to switch to a new visa category
- Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain – if eligible to do so on the five year route
- Or leave the UK.
Can I work in the UK after the biometric residence permit expiry date?
For those of you working in the UK with a biometric residence permit that expires in 2024 questions are already being asked by you and by sponsor licence employers about whether you have the right to work in the UK beyond December 2024 because of the contradiction between your biometric residence permit and either your visa date or your Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
The date on your biometric residence permit does not change your entitlement to work in the UK or your other rights as a person with valid leave to be in the UK. Those entitlements and rights are valid for as long as you hold Indefinite Leave to Remain status or you have a valid visa.
Why does my biometric residence permit expire in 2024?
You may wonder why the Home Office has made things complicated with an expiry date on your biometric residence permit that is inconsistent with your visa expiry date or your ILR status. The answer lies in the fact that apparently the EU requires biometric residence permits to include next generation encryption as part of the card issued to you. As the Home Office produced biometric residence permits don’t currently have this encryption technology contained in them they are issued with a 2024 expiry date so that they can be replaced by the Home Office.
If you hold a biometric residence permit on the 1 July 2024 that is due to expire in December 2024 then the Home Office has said that it will replace your biometric residence permit. The Home Office has said that this will be free of charge. Your new biometric residence permit should then expire in accordance with your visa expiry date.
If you are worried about the date on your biometric residence permit or if you are confused about your visa expiry date and visa renewal options then it is best to take expert Immigration legal advice.