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BRPs no more from 2025: Home Office announces further detail on the transition to digital status

Posted on 14 May 2024

Following a long wait, the Home Office has finally released further details on the transition to eVisas. This forms part of the Home Office's overall strategy to develop a fully digital immigration system.

From 1 January 2025, the Home Office is replacing physical immigration documents, such as Biometric Residence Permits (''BRPs''), Biometric Residence Cards ("BRCs") and vignette visa stickers, with eVisas. An eVisa is an online record of your immigration status, rather than a physical document.  

If you currently hold a physical immigration document or a BRP or BRC which shows an expiry date of 31 December 2024, but hold valid leave until after 31 December 2024, you will need to transition to an eVisa before 1 January 2025. Updating your physical document to an eVisa does not affect your immigration status or the conditions of your permission to enter or stay in the UK, but simply the format by which this status is evidenced.

Employers should also be aware of these changes and ensure that any staff who hold physical immigration documents take appropriate action. Fresh Right to Work checks may also be required in certain circumstances.

As with other technological changes implemented by the Home Office, we have already identified some areas where complications could arise; for example, in relation to software compatibility, user experience and the type of immigration document held. It is critically important to get the process right, as a failure to do so could impact upon your ability to travel and to evidence your immigration status to others (such as employers, landlords and other third parties).

The Home Office should contact affected individuals directly with instructions on how to create an online account and access their eVisa. However, if you are affected by the change and have not received an update from the Home Office towards the end of the year, please let us know.

Note that if you have Indefinite Leave to Enter or Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as settlement) and you currently prove your rights through a different type of physical document, such as a wet-ink stamp in your passport or a vignette sticker, then you will first need to make a separate application for a BRP. Only once you have a BRP will you be able to create an account to access your eVisa. Therefore, any application for a BRP will need to be made as soon as possible.

In the future, you will be able to use your eVisa to travel to the UK. You will not need to carry a physical visa document, except for your current passport, which must be registered to your online account.  

In the meantime, during 2024, you must continue to carry your in-date BRP and valid passport when travelling internationally. If you already have an eVisa along with your BRP, you do not need to create a new UKVI account. To check if you already have a UKVI account, visit the gov.uk website.

We have already started to contact our clients regarding these changes but, should you have any questions or require assistance, please contact us for further information and we would be delighted to help.

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