A biometric permit (which was formerly known as an identity card for foreign nationals) is a required document from some foreign nationals who are temporarily residing in the UK. Do you need to apply for a biometric permit during your stay in the UK?
Nationals Who Do Not Need to Apply for a Biometric Residence Permit
Not all foreign nationals are required to apply for a biometric residence permit. No one who is a national from a country in the European Economic Area (including Switzerland) needs to apply for a biometric residence permit.
Foreign nationals who are not mentioned in the UK Border Agency list of nationals are also not required to apply for a biometric residence permit when they apply to extend their stay in the UK.
Extending Your Status in the UK
If you are currently in the UK and you wish to extend your permission to stay in the country on a temporary basis, you will need to apply for a biometric permit if you fall into certain immigration categories.
These include Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system, Tier 4 (Child) of the points-based system, representatives of an overseas business, domestic workers in a private household, visitors in the UK for private medical treatment, spouses of British citizens or persons with a settled status in the UK, as well as dependents of those who fall into a category that requires a biometric residence permit. For a complete list of those who require a biometric residence permit, click here for more details.
Transferring Permission to Stay Using Form TOC
Those who are using form TOC to request a transfer of their temporary permission to stay in the UK from an old passport to a new passport must also apply for a biometric residence permit.
How Do I Know If I Need a Biometric Residence Permit?
Migrants cannot apply for a biometric residence permit unless they are specifically applying to extend their stay in the UK under the categories set forth by the UK Border Agency. If you are still unsure of what to do, when you apply to extend your stay, the application form will clearly inform you of whether you must also apply for a biometric residence permit at the same time.
Those who need to apply for a biometric residence permit at the same time as they apply to extend their stay in the UK must ensure that they enrol their biometric information with the UK Border Agency.
Biometric residence permits are required from some categories of immigrants who wish to stay beyond their temporary permission to stay in the UK. Consult the UK Border Agency for further details to see if you need to apply.
UK Border Agency, Do I need a biometric residence permit?