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I'm a non-EU citizen living in Germany (I hold an EU Blue Card which is my temporary residence permit). I'm going to apply for a UK visitor visa to visit a conference. Should I submit my Blue Card together with the other documents which I add to visa application?

I'm considering because, strictly speaking my stay in Germany is illegal without the Blue Card, thus I'd prefer to keep the original, and send only the copy. I already did like that a year ago and received a visa without any issues. But I'm not sure whether a residence permit was specified on the TLScontact page back then:

Original valid passport (or Travel document) and residence permit (if applicable)

  • As I understand it, German law requires you to have documents, but not necessarily to carry them in your personal possession at all times. In fact, I recall a question either here or on Expatriates that cites the specific statute in reference to submitting passports for visa applications, but I can't find it at the moment. I suppose the law could be different for residence permits, but I doubt it. – phoog Sep 8 '17 at 14:38
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Under the circumstances, yes, as it is asking for confirmation of legal residence, if you are not a national of the country in which you are applying. However, if your right to reside there is included in your passport, e.g., long term visa, then it should not be necessary to include your Blue Card.

From TSLContact Berlin does have an Added Value Service that might enable you to keep your Blue Card (although the offering is tailored to passports):

Keep My Passport When Applying

PRICE: € 80.00 Payment: Online/Onsite

This service allows you to keep your passport the maximum possible time during the visa decision process.

The basic points of this service are:

You still need to bring your passport to your appointment, but it will be given back to you before you leave the Visa Application Centre;

Once the decision of your visa application has been made by the UK Visas and Immigration, you will be notified by email, and then you need to provide your passport to the Visa Application Centre (by post or in person). If you don’t provide your passport within the determined timeframe, your visa application will be refused.

If you elect this fee-based option, you may just decide to have both passport and Blue Card returned immediately.

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In the supporting documents guide, it is clearly stated:

All documents must be originals and not photocopies.

So theoretically you are required to send the original EU Blue Card if it's not included in your passport. However, just going by the cases (around 45-50 applications) that I have seen personally, it is perfectly okay to attach just a copy of your Blue Card.

Also, I was quite adamant to send my original Blue card with the application but the TLSContact executive told me that it is not required and I shouldn't send it. TLSContact maintains that they do not provide any assistance with respect to what documents you are supposed to send but in my case the agent did.

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