Do not panic if your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged or due to expire and your visa vignette is contained in your passport. The visa vignette can be transferred or replaced with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Previously it was possible to transfer the visa vignette to a new passport regardless of whether you were in the UK or outside, but now you have to apply for a BRP instead if you are in the UK. If you are outside of the UK, then you can transfer your visa to a new passport.
Even though it is common for a person with leave to hold a BRP to evidence their right to reside in the UK, some categories of leave or older visa grants will be contained in a person’s passport or alternatively in the form of a Immigration Status Document (ISD). It is to be pointed out that you can still continue to travel with two passports if your visa vignette is contained in your expired passport as it is not mandatory to apply for a BRP.
However, if a person does wish to apply, they will be issued with a BRP if they still have leave remaining, they continue to meet the conditions of their leave and they provide a valid passport/travel document, BRP or previous Immigration Status Document (ISD).
Further to this, a person who has changed their name either through marriage or deed poll can apply for a new BRP in their new name once they have obtained a new passport with the changed name.
This application is particularly relevant when you need to prove your right to work in the UK as you cannot use your expired passport which contains a valid visa, to prove your right to work in the UK. As a result, you must replace your visa with a BRP.