My Biometric Residence Card/Permit is expired, lost or stolen. Can I travel without a BRC/BRP, and how do I replace it?
IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THE ANSWER BELOW: In February 2022, the Government changed its “Charging procedures: a guide for carriers” to include a new section 2.4 which says
“Where a visa national passenger does not have a valid visa or visa exemption document, you may accept evidence of pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme where this is provided by the passenger via the online ‘View and Prove’ service.”
The Government made this change as a response to our correspondence, see see Q5 of their letter of 28 March 2022, which makes it clear that this is at the carrier’s discretion, and they go on to say
“Whilst a carrier may choose to accept an eVisa as evidence of status under the EUSS, we continue to advise visa nationals to ensure they have a valid UK-issued BRC or EUSS travel permit when seeking to travel to the UK to facilitate carrier checks and avoid delays.
Visa nationals who have a valid pending application to the EUSS are advised not to travel to the UK until their application is granted unless they hold a valid visa or visa exemption document. A Certificate of Application or Acknowledgement of Application is not satisfactory evidence of status for the purpose of carrier’s liability checks.”
END IMPORTANT UPDATE
If you are a non-EU family member with pre-settled or settled status you need a valid (i.e. not expired) physical Biometric Residence Card (BRC) to check-in / board a carrier from abroad, and to re-enter the UK. You cannot only rely on your digital (pre)-settled status for travel back to the UK so you must carry your BRC with you when you travel.
You can still use an BRC issued under the EEA Regulations to travel back to the UK as long as it is still valid. If you have been issued an EU Settlement Scheme BRC you can use this for travel back to the UK as long as it is valid.
If you are outside the UK and your BRC expires, is damaged or it is lost/stolen, you will not be able to apply for a replacement whilst you are abroad as BRCs can only be issued in the UK. Instead, you will need to apply for an “EU Settlement Scheme Travel Permit”. This is similar to an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit but is issued to those non-EU family members who have already been granted (pre)-settled status. The purpose of the EU Settlement Scheme Travel Permit is to facilitate your re-entry to the UK so you can apply for a replacement BRC (once you have the replacement BRC you can then use this for travel back into the UK).
To qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme Travel Permit you must report to the Home Office if your existing BRC has been lost, stolen, damaged or has expired. Visit https://www.gov.uk/uk-residence-card/report-a-lost-or-stolen-card to see what information you should email to the Home Office. (This page does not address expired cards, but since reporting is a pre-requisite for applying for a Travel Permit, we suggest you follow the instructions under ‘Your card is damaged’ if your card has expired).