As many countries do not recognise a change of gender from that allocated to an individual at birth, many transgender persons are not able to update the information in their passport.
As the Home Office will generally only issue documents that match a person’s passport, this means that any individual applying to come to the UK will have their immigration documents issued to correspond to the name and gender that they were born with rather than that which they identify with.
Once in the UK however, providing that an individual is using and intends to keep using their new identity for all purposes, then the Home Office will allow a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to be updated even where the passport has not been.
The Home Office Guidance on this issue states that:
“Transgender people who hold non-British passports and identity cards in their former name and gender will normally be expected to align their other passport(s) or identity card(s) to reflect their acquired name and gender, so that they are using one name for all purposes, unless they are from a country that does not recognise their acquired gender and are unable to obtain a foreign passport in their new details”.
In order for the Home Office to update a BRP, the individual will firstly need to change their name via deed poll, a process which can be further explored here.
Once they have changed their name via deed poll, they can then make either a Transfer of Conditions application (if they have temporary leave) or a No-Time Limit application (if they have indefinite leave to remain).
Providing that it is not possible for the individual to obtain an updated passport in their country of origin, the Home Office should then issue a new BRP with the updated information as per the deed poll.
For further information, please contact our immigration team.