eVisa rollout to replace all physical immigration documents

1st July 2024

As part of the UK government’s plan to create a digital immigration system, the Home Office has announced that it plans to phase out physical immigration documents by 1 Jan, 2025.

Documents like Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs), Biometric Residence Cards (BRCs), and vignette visa stickers will be replaced by eVisas as proof of immigration status. It will not affect the individual’s immigration status or the conditions of their permission to enter or stay in the UK.

In their latest guidance, The Home Office has confirmed they’ll be issuing invitations in phases to current BRP holders to create a UKVI digital account, if they’ve not already got one. This is why BRPs are currently being issued with end dates of 31 December 2024, even if an individual’s permission allows them to stay longer.

Employers should prepare for the transition by:

  • Not using physical BRPs to verify the right to work, instead using the Home Office’s online service with a share code (since April 2022, employers must check BRP holders’ right to work using the Home Office online view and proof service, using a share code).
  • Updating staff records to identify employees using physical BRPs with expiry dates on or before December 31, 2024.
  • Plan for repeat right to work checks on these staff in good time before the 31 December 2024 cut off period (where possible), particularly if there are lots of affected employees.
  • Communicating with affected employees to ensure they create a UKVI account promptly when invited.
  • Try and carry out early repeat checks where possible. There may be some employees who may now have an eVisa so it may be possible to undertake the check now without waiting until December.
  • Any further expiry dates should be documented and diarised for further repeat checks where needed.

Updated guidance for employers from the Home Office is published here “Employer’s guide to right to work checks”.
We are expecting further information to be provided throughout 2024, this guidance page sets out any updates.

The upcoming General Election on July 4, 2024, may impact these plans, although no major political parties have addressed this issue.

If you need advice on managing the complexities of business immigration law, get in touch with our specialist Rajveer Basra at RajveerBasra@schofieldsweeney.co.uk.

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