If you are pursing UK immigration, you may be wondering about the difference between brp and brc. Today’s blog will explain the difference in the context of answering “what is the BRP card?” and “what is the BRC card?” In addition to learning these basic facts about these two cards, readers will also find the answers to frequently asked questions, including, “who needs a biometric residence permit?” and, “who needs biometric residence card?” and finally, “how much do BRP and BRC cost?”

What is the BRP card?

  • Also known as a Biometric Residence Permit, the BRP is a kind of document that provides conclusive evidence of foreign nationals right to live, study or apply for public funds in the UK. 
  • BRP cards contain your basic biographical information (full name, birthdate, where you were born), your legal status in the UK, your UK welfare eligibility, and your biometric information (photo and fingerprints). In addition, some cards also display a holder’s National Insurance number (NI). 
  • You do not have to apply for a BRP. Applicants who are already in the country will get their BRP in the mail (applicants typically receive their BRP 10 days after being notified of their application’s acceptance). Applicants who lodged their UK visa application from abroad will need to pick up their application post-arrival in the country (10 days or fewer after entering). 

Who needs a Biometric Residence Permit?

  • Most foreigners who receive long-term visas to the UK will receive a BRP. Other categories of persons who tend to receive BRPs include foreigners who applying to extend an existing short-term visa or for various UK travel documents, applicants for settlement, and those who need to affix their visa to a new passport.      
  • Please note that applicants who utilized the Identification Verification App on their UK visa application do not receive BRPs. Applicants who applied through the Identification Verification App will receive a digital (non-physical) document, which they will use to prove their status in the country.  

How to correct the BRP card

  • Occasionally, BRP card recipients will take possession of their card, only to discover that some of the information it contains is incorrect (or out of date). Because it is the responsibility of the card holder to identify and resolve such errors, it’s important to know how to correct the BRP card. 
  • Please keep in mind that you have 10 days (after receiving it) to correct an issue with your card. If you fail to report an error within that time frame, you will be liable for the cost of a new card (which you will have to apply for). 
  • You can correct a BRP card online, by contact us here.

What is the BRC card?

  • Known fully as the “UK Residence Card” or “EEA Biometric Residence Card,’ historically, the BRC provided conclusive evidence of foreign nationals right to live, study or apply for public funds in the UK.
  • Please note that the BRC has essentially been discontinued, meaning that it is no longer a requirement for new UK residents to apply for one. 
  • Those who apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (prior to June 31st of this year) may continue to show their BRC card for UK entry purposes. In addition, those who apply to the EU Settlement Scheme who already have a BRC card may continue to furnish it in order to establish their identity. 

Who needs a Biometric Residence Card?

  • At the moment, UK visa applicants and current holders do not need a BRC card in order to enter or continue living in the UK.   

How much do the BRP and BRC cost?

  • For successful UK immigration applicants, the cost of the BRP is included in the price of their visa application (meaning you do not have to pay separately for your BRP once you are granted one). However, if you already have a visa to the UK, and you would prefer to exchange it for a BRP (i.e. because you lost your passport containing your visa/your visa information needs to be updated) you can do so, but you will have to pay. The cost to exchange a visa for a BRP ranges from 0-£220 (different prices apply to different visa statuses).

Is ARC card a biometric residence permit?

  • No. The arc card is not a biometric residence permit (BRP). The ARC card (application registration card) is granted to those seeking asylum in the UK (or the dependent relatives of those seeking asylum). The card displays basic information about its holder, including name, citizenship, and whether he or she is eligible to be employed in the country. Because the ARC card only displays biographical information about its holder, and does not contain the holder’s fingerprints, photograph, or other identifying biographical information, it cannot be described as biometric in nature, and is therefore fundamentally different from a BRP. Regarding the main difference between the BRP and the BRC (UK Residence Card); the former is currently in use among foreigner residents of the UK, whereas the BRC has sense been discontinued.
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