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UK Introduces an App for In-Country Applications to Replace Biometric Documents for Foreign Citizens

The Home Office has noted a recent surge of applications for replacement of lost or damaged BRPs and BRCs which leads to queues in the UKVI offices and work overload of UKVI employees.

Both documents mentioned above are biometric residence cards, that is to say they can be considered British residence permits. These are standard-sized pink and blue plastic cards.

The reasons of this sudden increase in applications have not been reported. In any case, the UKVI had to look for ways to automatise the process as fast as possible to facilitate application processing.

The IDV mobile application has been developed to resolve these issues; now it is available on most mobile devices. You can use it to complete a verification of your identity and submit your photograph and fingerprints. It is reported to be enoughfor the identification of foreign citizens. If necessary, the Home Office will contact the applicant to ask them to attend a face-to-face biometric appointment.

Unfortunately, the Home Office acknowledged that using the app would not accelerate the process of issuing a new card. However, it might help to avoid delays and the number of applications. Besides, you will not have to attend a face-to-face appointment which is of utmost importance during the COVID pandemic.

An application is submitted online and can only be done inside the UK. If a UK resident loses their card abroad, they need to contact the British Embassy and get a vignette in their passport. It will only permit you to enter the UK within a period of 30 days. You must enter the country within this period and apply for a replacement card. If you find your previous residence card, it will not be valid anymore.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the differences between the BRC and BRP cards as some people struggle to differentiate between them. It is not surprising given that their function is the same. The difference is that the BRC (Biometric residence card) is given to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens residing in Britain under the EUSS programme. Other residents get a BRP (Biometric residence permit). If you have any questions, contact our experts at Imperial & Legal. We will clarify any complex issues and help you get a required document.

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