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Biometric residence permit

This page talks about how to transfer your Indefinite Leave to Remain from your old passport to a Biometric Residence Permit card.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) cards

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) cards are immigration documents. They are a similar size to a photo-driving license or an identity card and contain your personal (name, date of birth, gender etc.) and biometric (scanned photograph and figure prints) information.

Employers will often ask to see valid proof of immigration status, as part of their ‘Right to Work’ checks. Increasingly, other third parties such as universities, public services and private landlords may also ask to see current proof of status. 

We strongly recommend that you hold a valid BRP card to avoid any doubt as to entitlement to reside in the UK.

BRP cards and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

If your passport is still valid and has not expired you can use this as proof of your indefinite leave to remain, and your permanent right to live, travel, work and study in the UK.

If your passport has expired most employers and other institutes will no longer accept this as proof of your settled status and you will need to transfer your indefinite leave to remain to a BRP card. You can do this by submitting an application to the Home Office using an NTL form.


If are applying by post this can take between 3 and 6 months. Applications can be made in person for an additional fee and processed within one day at one of the Home Offices’ Premium Service Centres.

More information is available at

Biometric enrolment

As part of the application process you will receive a letter from the Home Office inviting you to give your biometric information within 15 working days from the date on their letter. The letter will have a unique barcode linked to your application and you will need this to submit your photograph and fingerprints.

 The process is available at participating post office branches. The Post Office will forward your information directly to the Home Office who will continue to processing your application.

How we can support you

Our Immigration Advice Service is here to support and assist RCN members. We can provide advice about particular difficulties you are experiencing when completing the relevant form or providing supporting documents. 

How to contact us

If you're an RCN member needing advice on immigration matters, you can call RCN Direct on 0345 772 6100 (option 2) or contact the advice team.

We're here for you

If you're an RCN member needing advice on immigration matters, please contact the RCN Advice Team.