Biometric Residence Permit (‘BRP’)

Why does my Biometric Residence Permit (‘BRP’) expire on 31st December 2024 when I have leave beyond this date?

An individual who is granted leave in the UK for more than six months will be provided with a Biometric Residence Permit (‘BRP’), which is an ID document that denotes the duration of the individual’s leave. The BRP contains a ‘date of issue’ and a ‘valid until’ date. Thankfully each grant of leave is normally accompanied by a decision letter from the Home Office, which confirms the validity dates of the visa. This is important as in cases where the visa is valid post-31st December 2024, including, for example, a grant of indefinite leave to remain or a grant of leave for five years, the BRP will note a ‘valid until’ date of 31st December 2024.

The requirement to make BRPs valid in the UK until 31st December 2024 related, albeit initially, to EU law. That is to say that EU law required the Home Office to issue BRPs which incorporated the latest encryption technology. Suffice to say as the BRPs issued by the Home Office did not contain the relevant technology then a decision was made to restrict the validity of the current format of BRPs until 31st December 2024.

Nevertheless, as a result of Brexit, and the lifting of the requirement for the UK to comply with EU law, the Home Office was able to issue BRPs in a format it saw fit. The Home Office, at this point, made some changes to the format of the BRP. However, even BRPs issued since January 2021, in the new format, note a ‘valid until’ date of 31st December 2024 where the individual was granted indefinite leave to remain or leave valid post-31st December 2024.

The reason for this is the Home Office wishes to move the process of confirming leave to a digital format. This will be in-keeping with the approach for EU nationals who can confirm their Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status online through the relevant portal. The Home Office intends to introduce a new UK format BRP next year. This format will not have restricted validity. 

What does this mean in the short-term for those individuals who have indefinite leave to remain or leave post-31st December 2024, who hold a BRP valid until 31st December 2024? The Home Office has confirmed that the immigration status of those in the above situation will not be affected and that nothing requires to be done just now to extend the BRP. Instead, by early 2024 the Home Office will publish details of what needs to be done to obtain a free replacement BRP or to access status digitally.

If you require any assistance with your immigration matters then please do not hesitate to contact one of the solicitors in our immigration team.