Biometric Residence Permit
The Home Office has introduced a requirement for non-EEA Nationals travelling to the UK for more than six months, to be issued with a Biometric Residence Permit.
This requirement has started with applications made in Pakistan from mid-march and the rollout will continue in three further phases. Please see enclosed the International Rollout Schedule.
The reason for this new requirement is because Biometric Residence Permits provide a more secure and faster method for applicants and businesses to verify someone's identity and right to be in the UK. There is no additional fee for the Biometric Residence Permit.
Migrants who apply for leave to enter the UK for more than six months will be issued with a vignette in their passport, which is valid for 30 days from the intended date of travel as stated on the application form. The vignette is proof only of permission to enter the UK. If the migrant does not travel to the UK within the 30-day period, the visa will expire and the migrant will need to re-apply for their visa and pay another fee. Therefore it is imperative that a realistic intended travel date is inserted onto the application form and adhered to.
Upon arrival into the UK, the migrant has 10 days to collect their Biometric Residence Permit. The Biometric Residence Permit should be collected from the Post Office branch detailed in the visa decision letter. If the migrant does not collect their Biometric Residence Permit within 10 days, they may be subject to a financial penalty or cancellation of leave. The Post Office branch allocated to the migrant is linked to the postcode submitted on the visa application. Therefore it is imperative that a migrant is aware of their UK accommodation prior to submitting the visa application.
When a migrant collects their Biometric residence permit at the post office, they must bring their passport, which contains the 30 day vignette. Once the migrant has received their Biometric Residence Permit, they need to carefully check that all the details are correct. If there are any mistakes, the migrant has 10 working days to contact the Home Office to rectify the mistake.
Under current legislation, employers have a responsibility to check the entitlement of prospective employees to work in the UK. Migrants who are eligible to work in the UK are strongly encouraged to collect their Biometric Residence Permit before they start work.
Immigration Health Surcharge
The Home Office has introduced an Immigration Health Surcharge that will be introduced from 06 April 2015. The health surcharge will be paid by non EEA Nationals who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join family for a period of more than 6 months. It will apply to applications where payment is made on or after 6 April 2015.
The surcharge is set at £200 per year and £150 per year for students, with dependents generally paying the same amount as the main applicant. The amount payable will cover the entire period of permission to stay. For example, if they are granted leave to enter the UK for a period of 3 years, then they will be required to pay £600 (£200 x 3 years).
The surcharge is not a visa fee. The Home Office will collect the payment and it will go directly into the National Health Service (NHS) and will give migrant's access to the NHS on the same terms as a permanent UK resident. Please note that this payment is mandatory and private healthcare insurance does not exempt the migrant from paying the surcharge. The health surcharge is payable in full at the time of the immigration application. The surcharge will usually be paid online at the point of the immigration application. Local guidance will be provided where other payment arrangements exist.
The surcharge will not apply to visitors, EEA Nationals, Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Migrants (and their dependents), or those coming to the UK for less than 6 months. Tier 2 inter-company transfers, Australian and New Zealand nationals must still complete the process through the surcharge web site.
1 April 2015