What is biometric information?
Biometric information, which is often shortened to ‘biometrics,’ is a set of unique physical traits that can be used to identify you.
When you make an application for permission for a visa or permission to stay in the UK, your fingers and thumbs will be scanned (10 digits) and your face will be digitally photographed.
Your signature will also be digitally captured.
What does the process of enrolling your biometric information involve?
The process of enrolling your biometric information takes less than five minutes.
Your face is digitally photographed and you place your fingers onto a glass screen for scanning. If you do not have any fingers or hands, you will only need to have a digital photograph taken of your face. The fact that you are physically unable to provide fingerprints will be noted in your records.
Lastly, you write your normal signature on a digital pad.
Your information is electronically captured and securely sent to the Home Office so that they can proceed with your application for a Biometric Residence Permit.
Where can you provide your biometric information?
If you are applying from inside the UK, you can provide your biometric information at two locations:
- Designated Post Office branches (if you applied by post)
- A premium service centre (if you applied in person).
If you are applying from outside the UK, you will need to give your biometrics at a visa application centre.
Can children enrol their biometric information?
For reassurance and to ensure that they understand the enrolment process, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a ‘responsible adult.’
A responsible adult is the child’s parent, guardian or another person aged 18 or over who has responsibility for the child.
It is only possible for the responsible adult stated on the biometric notification letter to accompany children to their biometric enrolment otherwise it will not take place.
Children under the age of six are not required to provide their fingerprints. However, they must have a digital photograph taken of their face:
- If they are under six years old and applying from within the UK
- If they are under five years old and applying from outside the UK.
How much does biometric enrolment cost?
If you enrol your biometric information at the Post Office, it will cost you £19.20. This is in addition to the fee you pay to the Home Office for your visa or immigration application.
What happens if you cannot enrol your biometric information?
If there are extenuating circumstances why you cannot enrol your biometric information within 15 days of the biometric invitation letter being issued, you must email the Home Office outlining the reasons for this.
Their email address (which is secure) is: Appointmentexceptions@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk