How to Apply for a Replacement Card If your BRP Card Is Lost or Stolen?

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
6 March 2024

A Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is an important physical card that confirms your identity, your immigration status and any conditions of your stay, for example, whether you have the right to study or the right to work. Therefore, the BRP can be used as a form of identification or to prove your right to work to potential employers.

A BRP will include your name, the date your BRP was issued and the date of expiry, your date of birth and your place of birth. In addition, as the name suggests, your BRP will include your biometric information. Many will have noticed that their BRP expires on 31st December 2024 even though they hold valid leave in the UK after this date. This is because the Home Office are phasing out the use of physical BRPs and are moving for the recognition of a person’s immigration status to be completely digital in 2025.

However for the time being, BRPs are still being issued as physical cards and therefore if you lose your BRP or your BRP is stolen, it is extremely important that the first thing you do is report your BRP lost or stolen to the Home Office. This can be done inside or outside of the UK, and the Home Office will contact you within one working day of you reporting it lost or stolen. You may ask an employer or legal representative to do this for you if you are unable to do this yourself.

If you are outside of the UK when your BRP is lost or stolen, the next step that you must take is you must apply for a ‘replacement BRP visa’. This visa allows you to re-enter the UK once and to then apply for a replacement BRP once you have entered the UK. The Home Office fee for making an application for this visa is £154 and the Home Office processing times for these applications is currently 3-8 weeks.

If you are in the UK or once you have entered the UK, you must make an application for a replacement BRP within 3 months of the BRP being lost or stolen. If you do not make the application for a replacement BRP within 3 months, you may be fined up to £1000 and be made to leave the UK. Please note that you can only apply for a replacement BRP from within the UK. The Home Office fee for a replacement BRP is currently £56, with an additional fee of £19.20 for registering your biometrics, and the processing times for these applications is also currently 3-8 weeks.

Should you find your BRP after you have reported it lost or stolen, please note that you will no longer be able to use this BRP. As such, if you are in the UK, you will still need to apply for a replacement BRP and if you are outside the UK, you will still need to apply for a ‘replacement BRP visa’ before you travel to the UK and then apply for a replacement BRP. Once you have received your replacement BRP, you will need to ensure that you cut your old BRP into pieces and cut through your personal details, the royal coat of arms and the gold biometric chip if your card has one. You must then post the old BRP to the Home Office at the following address:

Returns Unit
PO BOX 195
Bristol
BS20 1BT

If you are needing to prove your immigration status while you are waiting for your replacement BRP to be issued, you can prove your immigration status online on the Home Office website.