What you need to know

Government-issued documents are very important and you should keep them safe. They are your main form of identification/ID.

If you cannot show original documents to agencies, they may be unable to help you.

These documents include:

What you need to do

You must keep these documents safe in a folder or in a plastic wallet. When you apply for housing, benefits, work or bank accounts, you will need these documents (without a Biometric Residence Permit, you can use your decision letter).

Do not send original copies of important documents in the post unless you are asked to do so.

If an agency asks if you can send your original documents, ask if they can take a “certified copy” or “validated copy” there and then. That way you can hold on to your original documents. The Post Office has a Document Certification service:

Document Certification

If you must post the original documents, take them to the Post Office and ask for them to be sent ‘recorded delivery’. This costs £2.55 for a large (a4-sized) letter (correct June 2024), but you can check to see that it has been delivered using the Post Office ‘Track and Trace’ service:

Track and Trace

Last Updated: 18 June 2024

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