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eVisas – What we know so far

The Home office plan to introduce eVisas as standard and move to a ‘digital by default’ border and immigration system by 2025. As part of this, the Home Office is replacing physical immigration documents with a digital proof of immigration status (an eVisa), for those already living in the UK but also for those applying for a new visa.


What is an eVisaTransition to eVisas Legacy Documents Creating an accountTravelChecking immigration status

What is an eVisa?

An eVisa is an electronic record of a person’s immigration status. It will become the default by 2025 and will replace:

  • Biometric residence permits (BRP)
  • Biometric residence cards (BRC)
  • Legacy paper documents such as a passport containing an ink stamp or vignette sticker (where the holder has indefinite leave to enter or indefinite leave to remain)

For further information please visit the Home Office’s website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/online-immigration-status-evisa

How will the transition to eVisa take place?

Everyone that currently has a physical document will need to create a UKVI account to access the eVisa and prove their immigration status and conditions (right to work/rent)

It is free to create an account and the immigration status and conditions attached to the current permission to stay will remain the same.

The Home Office has launched an initial roll our of eVisas, currently by invitation only (email) with the following planned:

  • The service will open to all BRP holders from summer 2024
  • Most new visa applicants will get an eVisa from autumn 2024

There are some groups who will not need to do anything:

  • Those who already have an eVisa (eg EU nationals with leave under EUSS)
  • British passport holders and Irish citizens, including those who previously held an immigration status but have since acquired British citizenship, do not need to do anything

You can check if someone already has an eVisa here – View and Prove your Immigration Status

People with Legacy Documents

There is a number of migrants that have permission to stay but only hold ‘legacy documents’  such as vignettes in passports, passport stamps or paper documents confirming grant of Indefinite leave to remain.

These people should be making an online application (free) – ‘No Time Limit’ in order to receive a BRP that will allow them to set up a UKVI account.

The Home Office has stated that later this year, the No Time Limit process will provide successful applicants with a UKVI account and access to their eVisa, rather than providing a BRP.

How to make a UKVI account

Applicants should download the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app on their smartphone

You will need a valid BRP/BRC or passport and access to email and a phone number

Make sure your UKVI account is always updated with any new passport or contact details.

The eVisa is linked to the passport so not updating it might caused problems when trying to prove status/travel ‘

Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details

For further support you can watch this video outlining how to get your eVisa and how to access your eVisa

Travelling

The Home Office is advising BRP holders to continue to use their valid BRP and passport when travelling internationally.

Those that have already a UKVI account should make sure the passport they intend to travel on is the one linked to their account (any updates on documents and details – ‘Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details’)

‘During 2024, the Home Office is taking steps to allow carriers, including transport operators such as airlines, ferry, and international train operators, to securely and automatically access the immigration status of passengers travelling on their services when they present their passport which is linked to their UKVI accountThis will automate the existing routine checks completed whenever a passenger presents their passport when travelling internationally.’

Checking someone’s immigration status

People can still use a valid BRP to prove their status until 31/12/2024  – except the right to work/rent which require a share code

BRP holders who already have an UKVI account can also use the view and prove service at www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status

Employers and landlords can check if ‘legacy documents’ can be accepted as proof of entitlement to work/rent in the UK at https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk

However, people with legacy documents are encourage to apply for a BRP as soon as possible


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