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UK Immigration: Attention BRP Card Holders: Roll out of digital immigration system

The UK government will adopt a wholly digital immigration system from 1 January 2025. From this date, visa nationals requiring permission to work, study or join family in the UK must apply for an electronic visa (“eVisa”) using the Home Office’s UK Immigration: ID Check App. The eVisa will be linked to a current biometric travel document and be accessible via a personal online UK Visa and Immigration (“UKVI”) account. This will replace all Biometric Residence Permits (“BRP”), Biometric Residence Cards (“BRC”), Indefinite Leave to Enter (“ILE”) stamps and visa vignettes.

The UK’s digital immigration system is currently open to eligible individuals applying for select immigration routes (e.g. work and study visas). By Autumn 2024, the Home Office intends to make the system available to a wider cohort of individuals and immigration routes.


Transition from BRP to eVisa

Some BRPs in circulation will have an end date of 31 December 2024 in line with the timeline for transition to the new system. Individuals with leave to stay beyond this date will continue to have permission to remain in the UK until the date specified in their approval email/letter. Depending on the mode of application, these individuals may already have an eVisa or, if not, will be expected to create a UKVI account to access one by December 2024. The eVisa will record an individual’s immigration status, conditions and period of leave outlined in the approval email/letter.

EVisa holders must ensure their contact information, current passport or national ID details remain updated in their UKVI account – especially before any overseas travel.

BRP holders whose leave expires before 31 December 2024, and who wish to extend their stay in the UK, may have the option to apply for an eVisa. If ineligible, they must apply for a new BRP by attending an in-person biometric appointment. Once issued, they will need to follow the same transition process to obtain an eVisa before 1 January 2025.


EVisa roll-out: Important points to note

Email Invitations

The Home Office has started emailing BRP holders on select visa routes, inviting them to register a UKVI account. These emails are currently anonymised and purposed for individuals whose permits expire on 31 December 2024.

Individuals who have been contacted by the Home Office directly are required to create a UKVI account if they have not already done so. For this step, they will need their: date of birth, BRP number, passport, access to an email address, phone number and smart phone. The link to create the account is provided within the email invitation.

Those not yet contacted have been asked to await further communication from the Home Office. They may expect an email invite from Spring 2024.

Overseas Travel

EVisa holders can continue travelling overseas during 2024 but are encouraged to carry any valid BRPs with them. It is also recommended they take a printout of their online eVisa status and approval email/letter showing their full leave entitlement in the UK.

EVisa holders seeking re-entry to the UK can also continue to prove their immigration status to an Entry Clearance Officer by producing their linked current passport or national ID document. However, individuals with previous visa refusals, unregistered dual nationalities, or unique names (e.g. patronyms), may still experience delays at the UK Border.

The Home Office is working with carriers to help automate existing routine checks. By Summer 2024, transport operators such as airlines and international train operators should automatically have access to a passenger’s immigration status.


British and Irish citizens

British and Irish citizens may have to prove their right of abode in the UK if they are not in possession of national passports. Further guidance on this will be published later this year.


What can I do as an employer?

Companies who are employing (or who intend to employ) migrant workers may consider taking the following actions ahead of the transition:


  • Ensure HR teams are aware of relevant updates relating to the eVisa roll-out. Latest information on the upcoming changes can be found here.


  • Prepare and circulate internal communications for migrant workers; paying particular attention to those who have BRPs expiring on 31 December 2024 and who have not yet created a UKVI account. The right to work (“RTW”) check you hold on file may expire at the same time in line with the BRP and a further RTW is required.


  • During 2024, you may be presented with a variety of RTW documents/options for new and existing hires so may wish to familiarise yourself with both manual and online RTW check processes. Example documents/options include, but are not limited to:
    • UKVI generated share code
    • Vignette stickers or ink stamp/s
    • Current and expired British and Irish passports


You will be expected to complete a compliant RTW check for each worker you employ to establish a statutory excuse against a civil penalty. Check the latest guidance Changes to Right to Work Guidance and Visa Fees – Magrath : Magrath

This is a changing area so make sure you keep updated with the latest information from the Home Office. If you have any questions or need assistance checks, please do not hesitate to contact your usual Magrath Sheldrick representative or [email protected]



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