From March 2015, any non-EEA national applying for leave to enter the UK for over 6 months will be required to apply for a BRP and then collect it within ten days of their arrival to the UK.
EU Regulation EC1030/2002 as amended by EC 380/2008, requires that all Member States granting leave to enter to migrants from outside the EEA for 6 months or more, must issue BRPs as the sole form of evidence of the leave being granted. Visa label stamps will no longer be used as evidence that the migrant has permission to stay in the UK.
Changes to the visa application process
1. Prior to making the visa application
When the applicant makes the visa application, they must provide their intended date of travel, a UK address and a post code. The UK post code submitted will be used to identify the branch of the Post Office to which the BRP will be sent for collection by the applicant. Please be assured that the applicant is able to change the designated Post Office, by contacting the Post Office directly and paying a fee.
2. On approval of the visa application
Once the visa application has been approved, the applicant will receive an approval letter and a short stay visa label in their passport, valid for 30 days from the expected date of travel as provided by the applicant. They must then travel to the UK within this 30 day validity. An applicant, who does not travel within the 30 day period, must apply for a replacement short stay visa to enable them to travel. The 30 day short stay visa label can be used for multiple entries to the UK until it expires.
3. On arrival to the UK Border
When the applicant arrives to the UK, they will need to present their passport containing the short stay visa and their approval letter. Once the applicant arrives in the UK, they must collect their BRP within 10 days, from the designated Post Office.
4. Commencing work in the UK
The applicant may commence work in the UK immediately on arrival, by presenting their short stay visa label to their employer, if it is still valid. The applicant will then need to obtain the BRP within 10 days and also present this to his employer in addition.
Changes to the Right to Work check for employers
With the introduction of this new system, an employer has two options, as follows:
1. They may choose to require that an employee has to collect their BRP in order to conduct the right to work check prior to employment commencing. This will mean that one right to work check will take place at the start of employment using the BRP. The next check will be due when the employee”s permission to be in the UK and work expires, as displayed on the BRP; or
2. If employment needs to begin before the employee is able to collect their BRP, the employer will conduct a right to work check on the basis of the short stay visa label in the passport. Once this expires, a further check will need to be made on the basis of the BRP. The next right to work check will take place when the visa expires and an extension is obtained.
The UKVI plans to roll out this initiative in phases, country by country over a four month period, which is expected to commence in March 2015, once the parliamentary process has been completed. Certain details are still to be clarified, such as whether representatives will be able to collect BRPs on behalf of clients, for example. As soon as further details are available, we will of course provide an up-date. In the meantime, it is clear that details such as travel dates and the UK address at which the migrant will reside will need to be determined with more certainty under the new system than has been the practice to date.
If you have any queries about the recent changes, please feel free to contact us.