The end of Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) and the transition to Digital Immigration Status in the UK

The end of Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) and the transition to Digital Immigration Status in the UK

In recent years, the UK has been undergoing a significant digital transformation in its border and immigration system. One notable change is the transition from physical documents like Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) to eVisas. For individuals residing in the UK, understanding these changes and how they impact their immigration status is important.

Changes from 31 December 2024

If your BRP is set to expire on 31 December 2024, there are key changes to be aware of. While the expiry of your BRP does not affect your immigration status, the way you prove your status will shift from 2025.

The traditional physical documents, including BRPs and vignette visa stickers, are being phased out in favour of eVisas. The Home Office says that the digital transition aims to streamline processes and enhance security measures within the UK border and immigration system.

An eVisa serves as an electronic record of an individual’s immigration status, offering benefits such as enhanced security, accessibility, and ease of updating personal details. It eliminates the reliance on physical documents like BRPs and provides individuals with more control over their information.

British Citizens

If you’ve acquired British citizenship since your last BRP issuance, you can use a British citizen passport or a certificate of entitlement of the right of abode to prove your right to be in the UK.

Non-British or Irish Citizens

To adapt to the upcoming changes and transition to eVisas, the Home Office has provided a link for users to create a UKVI account.

The process of creating a UKVI account is quite simple, and many individuals already benefit from the eVisas system such as European nationals under the EU Settlement Scheme.

To gain access to UKVI account and eVisa, users will need to find the link and provide their:

  • Date of birth
  • BRP Number
  • Passport (if you do not have a BRP)
  • Access to an email address and phone number
  • Access to a smartphone
Traveling overseas in 2024 and beyond

One of the main worries faced by BRP holders is the affect on international travel. The Home Office has confirmed that having your travel document linked to your UKVI account will facilitate digital checks by airlines and carriers, streamlining the travel process.

Further developments

For the latest updates and information on eVisas, users should regularly check and register to receive updates throughout 2024. Staying informed will help adjust to the changing landscape of digital immigration status in the UK.

The future

The transition to eVisas shows a significant shift towards a more efficient and secure immigration system. There are many benefits of eVisas including enhanced security, accessibility, and ease of updating personal information. However, the process may be overwhelming for some users, especially those who have technological limitations and do not have access to smartphones.

While the Home Office has promised to provide regular updates and assistance for individuals who may need help creating their UKVI account, more emphasis could be placed on accessibility for individuals with disabilities or language barriers. There is also little clarity on how the transition to eVisas may impact individuals’ daily lives, such as banking, employment, or access to services.

SMK Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm. Feel free to reach out to us today for any immigration-related issues or concerns. Our team of expert solicitors are here to help.

Akeel M. Khan