eVisa’s - A shift toward the digital border | QCS

eVisa’s – A shift toward the digital border

June 26, 2024

The Home Office has started to issue eVisas, with the intention to replace physical visas by 2025. An eVisa is an electronic record of a person’s immigration status.

To assist the government’s plan to modernise the border, the Home Office has begun to email out to all individuals holding biometric residence permits (BRP’s), inviting those in receipt of the emails to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account to access their eVisa, which will serve as digital proof of immigration status. This change will help facilitate the governments vision for a ‘contactless border’.

The eVisa will store individuals’ unique biometric information and protect against identity fraud. All individuals holding an eVisa are prompted to keep their UKVI account up to date with any changes to personal information, such as contact details.

Whilst invitations are currently being rolled out in phases, the intention is to phase out physical immigration documents in the UK by 2025. Documents being replaced by the eVisa include:

  • Biometric residence permits (BRP)
  • Biometric residence cards (BRC)
  • Passport endorsements including wet ink stamps
  • Vignette stickers in passports

In the future, individuals will be able to use their eVisa in order to travel to the UK. However, they will still need to produce their current passport, which must be registered to the UKVI account.

Moving forward, aside from passports, once eVisas are fully rolled out other physical documents will no longer be necessary. However, for the time being, individuals who hold physical documents will need to continue to carry them when travelling, until the end of 2024.

The eVisa is considered to be secure, as unlike the physical document, this cannot be lost, stolen or interfered with. It is thought that replacing the physical document will bring numerous benefits to the UK public and those holding visas. Other benefits will include:

  • Access to the eVisa at any time, and in real time
  • Customers will be in control of their own data
  • Personal information, e.g. contact details can be updated swiftly
  • Enhanced security
  • Greater convenience for customers and status checkers

Individuals holding eVisas will be able to share their immigration status with third parties such as employers, by generating a share code which allows the third party limited time access to your information.

There will be no charge for switching to the eVisa, and this will not impact or remove customers immigration status or UK rights.

Those who have indefinite leave to enter or remain within the UK, also known as settlement, will need to make an application to obtain a BRP if they are using another form of documentation to evidence their right to work. Once the BRP is obtained, you will be able to create an account to access your individual eVisa.

If you have any questions in relation to immigration and employment law, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the AfterAthena team (part of the Napthens Group) who are able to offer 30 minutes of free advice to QCS members.
AfterAthena
AfterAthena

Employment Law Specialists

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