If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK and wish to have a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to demonstrate your status, you will need to make a No Time Limit (NTL) application.
What is a No Time Limit application?
A successful NTL application will transfer Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status onto a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). In certain circumstances, an NTL application is required. In other cases, it may simply be more practical to hold a BRP.
A BRP is a card, which looks similar to a UK driving licence, that holds your personal details such as name, date of birth and place of birth, and your biometric information – photograph and fingerprints. This card also provides limited information on the type of permission to be in the UK you hold.
When to consider making an NTL application
Depending on when ILR was granted, there are a number of different documents that may have been issued to demonstrate this status. These include endorsements in passports and Immigration Status Documents.
It is not mandatory to have a BRP, however, there are a number of reasons to apply for one in order to evidence a right to reside indefinitely in the UK. It can be necessary to apply for a BRP if you have lost the passport which contains your ILR endorsement or if you have legitimately changed your identity since obtaining leave.
If you obtained an ILR endorsement a long time ago, obtaining a more current BRP is proof that your ILR status has not lapsed. ILR will lapse if you are outside of the UK for a continuous two-year period.
Who can make a NTL application?
You must hold valid ILR in the UK in order to make a NTL application. In addition to this, your ILR status must not have been invalidated through deportation or revoked on the basis that you are liable for deportation or because you obtained leave by deception.
Further information on the process can be found here.
Who cannot make a NTL application?
Those who hold limited leave to remain in the UK can also make an application to transfer their leave to a BRP, however, they must use a different application process.
EEA nationals and their family members who have the right to permanent residence or settled status in the UK cannot transfer their leave to a BRP. An EEA national or family member who has resided in the UK for at least five years, having obtained a permanent residence permit or not, must apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
EEA nationals who were granted ILR under the Immigration Rules in place prior to 30 April 2006, are eligible to make a NTL application.
Home Office fees and processing times
Once the application is submitted online, you will be required to attend an appointment in order to provide your biometric information at a UKVCAS centre.
There is no Home Office fee for this application and you should receive a decision within six months, although there is always the possibility for delays with any Home Office application.
You may elect to use the super priority service for an additional fee of £800. If using this service, you should receive your decision by the end of the next working day following your UKVCAS appointment.
How our Immigration solicitors can help
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This article was originally published in March 2020 and has been lightly updated. It is accurate as of the new date of publication shown.