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Biometrics for UK Nationality Applicants: Update

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Applicants for UK visas and residence permits have become accustomed to giving fingerprints and eyescans to support their applications.

Starting in 2008, applicants for leave to remain inside the UK have also been provided with a Biometric Residence Permit (“BRP”). In April, the Home Office introduced requirements for some  overseas visa applicants to provide biometrics and obtain a BRP on arrival in the UK.

Interestingly, applicants for citizenship will also now have to provide biometrics as part of the application process.

Although most applicants for British citizenship are applying from inside the UK, it is possible to apply for registration as a citizen whilst the applicant is outside the UK. This is particularly relevant to children applying on form MN1: for example, children born in the UK but now living overseas whose parents have now settled here, or children adopted overseas by British parents.

Form MN1 itself now cautions applicants that they must provide biometric data to support the application. In the UK this will be done through the Post Office network, which already handles biometrics for leave to remain applicants. Overseas applicants are directed to the website of the government’s “commercial partner” VFS, which is set to roll out biometric services over the coming months:

If your country is not listed on the VFS site, details of the “international rollout schedule” are available on the Home Office’s page relating to biometric residence permits. It is not immediately obvious that this is relevant to citizenship applicants too:   

If you need any advice or support in applying for citizenship for you or a family member, contact Kitty Falls at our Southampton office on or 023 8022 1344.