Government Acknowledges Delays in Biometric Residence Permit Issuance for Overseas Tenants

The Government has acknowledged the inefficiencies plaguing the system responsible for issuing Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) to non-UK citizens, an essential tool for verifying their legal right to rent properties within the country. The delays in processing these permits have placed both landlords and tenants in a precarious position, awaiting validation from the Home Office.

Tom Pursglove, the minister overseeing this area, attributed the hold-ups to “process errors,” highlighting the critical role BRPs play in the lives of visa holders. These permits are not only pivotal for establishing one’s right to live, work, or study in the UK but are also mandatory for international travel, ensuring re-entry into the UK.

The issue predominantly affects landlords accommodating international students, who are required to possess a visa, and consequently a BRP, to reside and pursue education in the UK. The delays have been ongoing, with immigration law firm Gherson raising the alarm about these issues four months prior.

Responding to a query from Labour MP Charlotte Nichols, Pursglove outlined the steps being taken to rectify the situation, stating, “We have introduced a dedicated support function to work at speed to resolve user/process issues and to drive BRP process improvements across the end-to-end system.”

To mitigate the impact on those affected by the delays, the Government promises to address issues within five working days of being notified. Additionally, Pursglove pointed to the Landlord Checking Service as an interim solution for landlords to verify the rights of potential tenants to work or rent in the UK, in the absence of a BRP.

This acknowledgment and the measures being put in place reflect the Government’s commitment to resolving the challenges surrounding the BRP issuance process, aiming to streamline operations and minimize inconvenience for both landlords and overseas tenants.