control panel
Applicants: More immigration and settlement routes require biometric residence permit

29 February 2012

The UK Border Agency has today completed the rollout of biometric residence permits in the UK. This significantly increases the number of biometric residence permits issued by the agency. From 29 February 2012, all applicants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) applying to stay in the UK for more than 6 months will have to register their fingerprints and digital facial image. Successful applicants will be issued a biometric residence permit as evidence of immigration status and entitlements in the UK. This includes refugees and thos... e granted settlement.

Since the rollout began in November 2008 we have issued around 650,000 biometric residence permits, containing fingerprints and photograph on a secure chip. Biometric residence permits 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 our Checking biometric residence permits page. From 31 May 2012 we will launch a new automated online checking service to provide quick and easy real time checks on biometric residence permits, the holder's identity and their right to work.

The Post Office Ltd will provide a service for applicants to provide their biometric information throughout a network of locations across the UK. This will ensure that a biometric enrolment facility is within reasonable travelling distance for most of applicants. The additional Post Office locations will join the 17 branches already offering biometric enrolment. We expect the additonal branches to be operational from March 2012, with all 104 locations operating by 10 April 2012.