14 June 2024
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UK Immigration Update: New eVisas for all visa holders living in the UK by 2025

To The Point
(3 min read)

As part of the UK government's plan to create a "contactless border" with a digital immigration system, the Home Office has announced that it aims to have all visa holders living in the UK signed up to have an "eVisa" by 2025. This will impact all physical document holders, including those who have been issued with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

With effect from 1 January 2025, BRPs will be phased out and eVisas will act as proof of an individual's immigration status in the UK and the conditions attached to their stay. For this reason, BRPs are currently being issued with end dates of 31 December 2024, even if an individual's permission allows them to stay longer.  The change will not affect all visa holders as some will already have eVisas where they have a UKVI account and pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.  With the General Election on 4 July 2024, the digitalisation plans may be subject to change if there is a different government, but the main parties have been silent on the topic.

Helpful information

  • Invitations are being issued in phases inviting current BRP holders to create a UKVI digital account. The latest guidance confirms that individuals who have a BRP that expires on 31 December 2024 will be told how to create their UKVI account and access their eVisa before that date. The Home Office has said that invitations will be sent over the summer.
  • When a visa holder is contacted to create an account, either by email or in a decision letter, they should follow the instructions received to create a UKVI account.
  • If an individual has indefinite leave to enter or indefinite leave to remain and they currently prove their rights through a different kind of physical document, then that individual should make a "no time limit" application. If this application is successful, the Home Office will issue a BRP to prove the individual's rights. Following receipt of the BRP, the individual will then be able to create a UKVI account to access their eVisa.
  • Individuals can sign up for updates on when they will be able to access their eVisa on the UKVI guidance page.
  • Creating a UKVI account will not cost anything.
  • Once a visa holder has created their UKVI account, they will be able to view the details of their eVisa online, for example the type of permission, when it expires and any conditions of stay in the UK.
  • An individual's eVisa will be linked to their passport in their UKVI account. Individuals must keep their passport details up to date in their UKVI account so their immigration status can easily be identified at the UK border.

Practical tips

  • We suggest that individuals should continue to carry their physical documents when they travel, even after their BRP has expired if it has an expiry date of 31 December 2024.
  • We understand that when the transition to eVisas has completed, individuals will not need to show their BRP when travelling to the UK, and airlines / Border Force officers will be able to check eVisas online.
  • As the eVisa is linked to an individual's passport, Border Force officers will be able to see an individual's UK visa details when that individual enters the UK.

Next steps

Further information is expected throughout 2024 and UKVI has a guidance page ''Online immigration (eVisa)'' which it uses to publish any updates.

To the Point 

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