Some individuals in possession of a physical visa document may have noticed that their documents have the same expiry date: 31 December 2024. This is so, even for those who were granted leave to enter or remain for a period that extends to after December 2024.
Why does my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) have a 31 December 2024 expiry date?
Initially, the reason for the December 2024 expiry date was due to encryption technology in the BRPs not meeting EU requirements. However, following Brexit, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has continued to short-date BRPs whilst working to towards a fully digital immigration system as part of the Government’s ‘Digital by Default’ plans.
This means replacing all physical documents evidencing immigration status, including BRPs, with eVisas.
Other physical documents that will be replaced with eVisas include Biometric Residence Cards (BRCs), passport endorsements and vignette stickers in passports.
How can I prove that my leave is valid past 31 December 2024?
All visa holders should have received a letter or email from UKVI confirming the validity period of their most recent grant of leave. The correspondence should also outline that the BRP may show a December 2024 expiry date.
Those who do not yet have access to their immigration status online may rely on such UKVI correspondence as confirmation of the correct expiry date of your leave.
Current BRP holders are also able to generate ‘Right to Work’ and ‘Right to Rent’ share codes which can be passed to employers and landlords. The share codes allow employers and landlords to view immigration status information which accurately reflects the expiry date of your leave, rather than that stated on the BRP.
What is an eVisa?
eVisas have been in use since 2018, most commonly for those who applied through the EU Settlement Scheme. An eVisa is an online record of your immigration status. It contains information on the validity and conditions of your permission to enter or stay in the UK.
Whilst problems with the eVisa system have been reported by current users, the Government still considers eVisas to be more secure and convenient.
The intention is to remove the need for BRPs from 1 January 2025. Instead, individuals will be able to prove their immigration status online and will be able to use an eVisa to enter the UK.
However, in order to make use of eVisas, individuals will be required to register for a UKVI account which must be linked to a current passport. UKVI has emphasised that passport details and other changes to personal information must be kept up to date on the UKVI account in order for the correct immigration status to be identified.
A UKVI account is necessary for the use of the online ‘View and prove your immigration status’ service, which allows individuals to view and share information about their immigration status with employers, landlords and other third parties via the generation of a ‘share code’.
When and how do I get an eVisa?
There is no need to take any action at this moment.
UKVI has announced that updates will be provided throughout 2024 to those who are currently in the UK with a physical immigration status document, including when and how a UKVI account can be registered for.
For those who plan to make a new application for permission to stay in the UK, the application process remains unchanged. If the creation of a UKVI account is required as part of the application, individuals will be prompted to do so.
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Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.
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