Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) rollout to overseas applicants
In future, all non-EEA nationals applying from overseas for permission to stay in the UK for more than 6 months will be required to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and then collect it within 10 days of arriving in the UK.
The Home Office are introducing these changes to ensure they are compliant with specific EU Regulations which require Member States who are granting leave for more than 6 months to do so on a BRP.
The changes will be implemented in a phased roll out over a period of four months from March 2015 subject to parliamentary approval.
It is unclear in which countries the roll out will begin but once the changes have been delivered the visa application process will remain largely unchanged. However, instead of being issued with a visa for the full validity of the grant of leave, the passport or travel document will be endorsed with a 30 day short validity (travel) vignette which will be valid for 30 days from the expected date of travel provided by the applicant. Applicants will also receive a letter informing them of the decision including notification that they must collect their BRP from a designated Post Office branch within 10 days of arrival in the UK.
As is the case now, as part of the visa application process, applicants will be asked to provide a date of travel to the UK, a UK address and a postcode. It is the UK postcode which will determine at which branch of the Post Office the BRP will be sent for collection by the applicant.
Once the applicant has arrived in the UK it will be possible to request that their BRP is transferred to another Post Office branch although this will incur an additional fee.
If an applicant fails to travel to the UK within the 30 day period of their short validity (travel) vignette they will need to apply to the Entry Clearance Officer for a replacement short term visa to enable them to travel to the UK.
Proposed increase to UKVI fees
The government has announced proposals to change the fees charged for visas, immigration and nationality applications and associated premium services. If approved, the new fees will apply from 6 April 2015.
The main points to note are as follows:
- the visa application fee for a Tier 2 (General) or Intra-Company Transfer application of 3 years or less will increase from £514 to £564;
- the visa application fee for a Tier 2 (General) or Intra-Company Transfer application of more than 3 years will increase from £1,028 to £1,128;
- the leave to remain application fee for a Tier 2 (General) or Intra-Company Transfer application of 3 years or less will increase from £601 to £661;
- the leave to remain application fee for a Tier 2 (General) or Intra-Company Transfer application of more than 3 years will increase from £1,202 to £1,302;
- applications for indefinite leave to remain will increase from £1,093 to £1,500;
- applications to naturalise as a British citizen will increase from £906 to £925;
- the fee to register a child as a British citizen will increase from £669 to £749;
- Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship will increase from £184 to £199.