6 STEPS TO FOLLOW IF YOU HAVE LOST YOUR BRP OUTSIDE THE UK
IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR BRP AND ARE STRANDED ANYWHERE BUT HERE, DON’T WORRY IT’S EASY (KEEP YOUR CALENDAR OUT AND WALLETS READY!)
Before we start the discussion of all the steps to getting a replacement BRP, please note that this is based on my personal experience of losing my permit in Portugal. This is not in anyway affiliated with any agencies or the home office. I thought it would be good for you to read a real experience and take back from it.
I travelled to Portugal in August with my sister, who travelled from Canada and I travelled from the UK. We went to Lagos and Lisbon and I lost my BRP in Lagos (on the third day, how very responsible of me!). I am a very responsible person, but things happen to the best of us. We had both our flights booked back and I had to stay back a week for this unfortunate stressful situation. So I am hoping this could be of some help to you as I found it extremely difficult and stressful to look around for the correct information -
Before I begin with the steps, i have outlined the process and duration of each step below :
03/08/2018 - Lost BRP + Reported BRP lost to the Home Office + Registered with VISA4UK and TLSContact
04/08/2018 - Application form completed and Payment made + Appointment booked
10/08/2018 - Appointment in Lisbon + Paid for Priority Service to speed up the process
15/08/2018 - Visa dispatched
16/08/2018 - Visa received
17/08/2018 - Flight back to the UK
so lets get straight to the point:
LETTING THE HOME OFFICE KNOW THAT YOU HAVE LOST YOUR BRP -
LINK : https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/biometric-residence-permit-replacement-service
Yes, you MUST cancel your permit and report it lost. You absolutely CANNOT use photocopies to fly back to the country. I did it, I googled it, read about some experiences and binned it. It is very easy to report it lost online. Following the report, you should receive a confirmation stating that you have reported it and what you must do next (or you can read it here).
NOTE : Print this confirmation.
REPORT THE LOST BRP TO THE POLICE & make a trip to the solicitor -
We has a police station right next to us which was great (and a solicitor too :). This is pretty simple. They ask you for certain details and you just need to provide them with the answers. They will issue you a report which you will need to take to a solicitor to translate to English as the home office will not accept the document in any other language.
APPLY FOR A ‘SINGLE ENTRY’ VISA -
LINK to application and payment : https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/account/register
FEES : EUR 249
You need to apply for a singly entry visa which will allow you back to the UK once, upon which you would then need to apply for a replacement BRP in the UK. Follow the link and create an application form with the following points to note:
• Reason for visit: Other
• Visa type: Others
• Visa sub type: Replacement Biometric Residence Permit
There were some questions regarding travels outside the UK and dates which I did not quite remember. So, in the comments section at the end of the application, I mentioned in great depth about how I did not carry any documents with me in my travels so I couldn’t provide them with the exact dates.
NOTE : Print this application, confirmation of payment and confirmation of appointment.
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT THE LISBON EMBASSY -
LINK to booking an appointment : https://uk.tlscontact.com/pt/lis/splash.php
If you follow the link to ‘lisbon’ at the bottom of the page, you can create an account and add different services to your application such as priority service, tracking etc. I would strongly recommend registering an account with TLSContact.
What I must point out is that the embassy is only open on Fridays. YES, I know! I had to wait a whole week for this appointment and I was meant to travel back the following day (I do laugh about this now so you will too one day). So I would suggest getting everything prepared ASAP.
PRINTING DOCUMENTS -
I printed the following documents (some extra ones to be safe)
Passport copies - front, back, schengan visa
BRP copies - front and back
Copy of employment letter ( I had a welcome letter printed) or if you are a student, you would need your welcome student letter from the university.
Photos - UK size (Although I carried photos, they took new ones at the embassy for free. I would still advise to carry some)
Police report of lost BRP
Translated letter of police from a solicitor
Application confirmation letter
Payment confirmation letter
Your initial report of lost BRP to the home office
If you have opted for a Priority service on the TLS website, you need the confirmation email for this as well.
Prepare to wait. You would have a time for your appointment but be prepared to wait around. I waited for an extra hour and the stress of losing the BRP didn’t make it easy. When I was finally called in, the man said that I would get my visa in 3 weeks (I thought he was joking but he really really wasn’t). He said it was impossible to get it within a day as the documents had to be posted to the UK and back to me. So, on the day, I paid for a Priority Service (EUR 251) which bumped it up to 5 working days. I still couldn’t do a happy dance but it was better than being stranded in Portugal for 3 weeks.
my advise to you :
The moment you have lost your BRP, go through the steps above the same day. Get it done so you can enjoy the rest of your trip. I lost mine on a Friday but did everything on the same day although I had to wait another week. I felt better knowing I had an appointment booked and it would be sorted.
Pay for Priority Service before you go for your appointment. I did it at the appointment and had to wait longer.
Be prepared with all the documents. I took everything even though it was not required. The thought of having to go back another Friday if I did not have all the documents was scary enough.
Return Address. I did not have an accommodation booked (as I was hoping to get the visa on the day, silly silly me!) so I booked Airbnb after my appointment. I had to provide them with an address for the visa and docs to be sent back to and they stated they this COULD NOT be collected. And so, I provided them the address of the hotel I stayed at previously and asked the hotel to sign for the package when delivered.
Don’t panic. S*** happens but it can easily be resolved. I was so stressed as I did not quite know what to do with the visa process. I can assure you that it is fairly simple and you will make it back to the UK.
I would be more than happy to answer any questions if you are still confused. Feel free to drop any comments below.