Biometric Residence Permits

A Biometric Residence Permit (formerly known as an identity card for foreign nationals) is a document containing details of the holder’s immigration status, photograph and fingerprints.  These details are held on a secure chip and are issued to non-EEA nationals with permission to remain in the UK for more than 6 months and replace the vignettes (or stickers) previously placed in passports.  The permits are proof of the holder’s right to stay, work or study in the UK and are normally issued as part of a migrant’s application to extend a visa or settle in the UK.

Further details can be found on the following UKVI webpage

How to check Biometric Residence Permit cards

The cards are designed as a standard credit card size and will look similar to identity cards issued by other EU countries.  The card will detail -


  1. biometric residence permit card imageHolder’s digital image
  2. Holder’s name
  3. Valid until - the date the card expires and the holder’s eligibility to stay in the UK expires. 
  4. Place and date of issue
  5. Immigration Category the holder is in (for example STUDENT)
  6. Remarks - these are the immigration entitlements for the length of the holder’s stay and may continue on the back of the card.  This will tell you of any restrictions regarding employing the holder.
  7. Unique card number
  8. Holder’s signature


  1. Biometric strip
  2. Holder’s gender
  3. Holder’s date and place of birth
  4. Holder’s nationality
  5. Remarks - (this is a continuation of no. 6)
  6. Machine readable zone (MRZ) - this allows the information on the card to be read quickly by machine.

Basic Checks to Ensure Authenticity

  1. Look at the card carefully - Is it clean and in good condition? Does it look tampered with?
  2. Check the Card Number - This is on the front of the card in the top right hand corner.  It should start with two letters followed by 7 numbers. The card number should not be raised.
  3. Check the Cardholder’s Image - The holder’s image will always be in grey-scale.  Check that it matches the person presenting it to you.
  4. Check the ‘Tactile Feature’ (on the back) - The back has a raised design incorporating the four national flowers of the UK.  The design can be seen by shining a light across the card.  You can also feel the raised design by running your finger over it.
  5. Feel the card - It should feel thicker than a driving licence.  The card will have a distinctive sound when flicked.  The card should not be bent or folded.
  6. Check that the biographical details (name, date of birth etc.) match the details of the person presenting it to you.

If you are in any doubt what so ever contact your link HR Team who will be able to advise you further.