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I am a non EU citizen and hold a long term visa in Germany based on work contract. However, I have a valid UK biometric residence permit too and wish to travel to London this coming December from Germany.

Is it possible for me to travel London based on valid BRP or do I have to apply for standard visitor visa again?


Gayot's edit, moving an "answer" into the question.

Thanks for the responses. I have had valid UK work permit, which is valid till December 2017. However, for some other assignment I had to come down to Germany.Thats the reason, I hold two visas. In Germany, it is been a month for me now. Kindly asist.

  • Sorry for the previous comment. How long have you been resident in Germany? We need to know to see if you can be admitted under Paragraph 18 of the rules. – Gayot Fow Nov 23 '16 at 8:55
  • How you ended up with two residence permits, that's a story I'd like to hear, a residence permit sorta implies you have something to do full time in that country, you can't do that in two countries at the same time...? – chx Nov 23 '16 at 9:31
  • @chx He(she) might have had a valid UK permit before applying to work in Germany. you can't do that in two countries at the same time Probably not at the same time. – DumbCoder Nov 23 '16 at 9:40
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    @chx it's a valid situation but there are some important restrictions. Especially those referring to the conditions under which the UK BRP was issued. While the OP states that it is valid, the IO may disagree that it is still valid. Need more info, minimally the elapsed time then I can enumerate the rest in an answer – Gayot Fow Nov 23 '16 at 9:58
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    Thanks for the responses. I have had valid UK work permit, which is valid till December 2017. However, for some other assignment I had to come down to Germany.Thats the reason, I hold two visas. In Germany, it is been a month for me now. Kindly asist. – Vicky Nov 23 '16 at 10:02
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As soon as the IO sees your BRP he will ask "How long have you been out of the UK?" It's because he needs to know which rule applies.

You have NOT been out of the UK for more than 2 years so the controlling technical reference is Paragraph 18 of the Immigration Rules called "Returning Residents", this covers temporary residents as well as permanent residents.

It starts...

A person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a returning resident may be admitted for settlement provided the Immigration Officer is satisfied that the person concerned: (and blah blah blah)

The critical words here are 'admitted for settlement'. If the IO takes to mind that you are visiting the UK and actually living elsewhere, he can revoke your BRP on the spot. He will then see if you can be admitted as a visitor under Appendix V of the rules. Depending upon your nationality and other soft factors (personal impact and articulation skills) you may be successful with that.

Next, if the IO determines that the conditions under which your BRP was issued are no longer extant you'll be in trouble (of the serious kind). Living examples are...

  • A spouse attempting to use a BRP when the marriage has broken down
  • A Tier 2 attempting to use a BRP when they are no longer employed by the same company

If those or similar conditions are true, you will be bounced. If you are bounced they will use Paragraph 320 of the rules (that's a catastrophically bad thing).

Otherwise based upon what you have written, there's nothing preventing you from benefiting from Paragraph 18 and using your BRP.

I would advise you to read those paragraphs and come to an understanding of them. Of course the odds are that all of this will have a happy ending and you can laugh about it when it's over, but it's better to be informed in advance what's at stake and have a technically precise understanding of which rules apply to your situation.

You made a "late disclosure" that you are an economic migrant. Accordingly please use Expats in the future for questions about your immigration status. We only know about travel issues.

  • ...Thank you so much for such a detailed explanation. – Vicky Nov 23 '16 at 10:49
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    @Vicky all part of the service. We don't use 'thanks' on the site, please understand us better by reading stackoverflow.com/help/someone-answers – Gayot Fow Nov 23 '16 at 10:51
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    Oh, stop it. I read your answer because the question was highlighted in "Hot questions". I liked your answer so much that I registered for an account, gave it a like, and left this comment. :D – Mihai Danila Nov 23 '16 at 16:59
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As stated in Timatic, the database used by airlines, you can enter the UK on your BRP if one of the following conditions are met:

  • Last time you entered the UK, you were given leave to remain for more than 6 months, or

  • Your last leave reads: "Given leave to enter to complete previous leave Section 3(3)(b), or

  • You are a permanent resident of the United Kingdom and are returning within two years

  • My BRP is valid till December 2017. So, am I eligible to enter UK? – Vicky Nov 23 '16 at 10:00
  • So, I can enter UK..Right? – Vicky Nov 23 '16 at 10:04
  • @Crazydre...So, I can be given permission to visit UK? – Vicky Nov 23 '16 at 10:06
  • @Vicky Based on the info above (which is based on information from the government) you can, but wait for an answer from Gayot Fow (who is a professional in this field). If his answer differs from mine, go with his. – Crazydre Nov 23 '16 at 10:08
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    @Crazydre Yeah, I have answered, but I will upvote yours regardless. No problem, but please use the authoritative links to the actual rules. It drives up our score on UKVI's site and adds quality etc etc :) – Gayot Fow Nov 23 '16 at 10:17

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