Government Support Services and Visas

The United Kingdom organises many of its government services through the local authority also known as a local “council”.

UK Biometric Residential Permit (BRP)

Short term UK visa holders must apply for a Biometric Residential Permit also know as a BRP. This is a government issued residency card. You cannot use your BRP to confirm your right to work or rent. For more details visit the UK government website

National Insurance Number

A national insurance number is a UK government tax payer’s number. This is needed to apply for work and/or universal credit. To apply for a National insurance number click here.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a government social welfare payment scheme to help individuals on low incomes. Universal Credit is paid monthly (those living in Scotland may receive payments twice a month). Some visa holders are eligible to receive universal credit if they are on a low income, out of work or cannot work.

This payment scheme includes:

  • Standard Allowance (support for living expenses)
  • Housing Element (support for rent)
  • Child Element (support for expenses raising a child)
  • Child disability living allowance and carers allowance
  • Attendance allowance
  • Childcare support for working families

More details can be located here.

Child Benefit

A payment will be made to a parent or guardian of a child or children by the UK government every four weeks. Eligible recipients may be entitled to receive monthly Child Benefit, if they have a child or children under the age of 16 or a dependent under the age of 20, who is enrolled in approved education or training. To apply, click here

Please note that when applying for this benefit your child’s original passport should not be submitted. The local JobCentre can make a certified copy of a passport to be sent with a application for child benefit.