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UK to Implement Digital Immigration System: Here’s What You Need to Know

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The United Kingdom Home Office is making significant strides in modernizing its immigration processes, moving towards a digital system to streamline operations and enhance security.

To issue eVisas to nearly all visa holders residing in the UK by 2025, millions are encouraged to transition from physical immigration documents to digital counterparts.

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Transition to eVisas

In a bid to usher in a new era of efficiency and security, the UK Home Office is spearheading the transition to digital immigration documents.

Individuals holding physical immigration papers, particularly Biometric Residency Permits (BRPs), are being prompted to embrace eVisas, marking a fundamental shift in the country’s immigration landscape.

What is an eVisa?

An eVisa is a digital record of your immigration status in the UK. It replaces the physical BRP card and allows you to conveniently access and update your information online. With enhanced security features, eVisas aim to streamline the immigration process.

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Who needs to switch to an eVisa?

If you currently hold a BRP, you’ll be required to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account to access your eVisa. The Home Office has begun sending emails in phases, urging BRP holders to register. By summer 2024, all BRP holders will be invited.

Also Read: New UK Visa Rules: Impact on Caregivers, Students, and Skilled Workers

Seamless Migration Process

Starting April 17, 2024, the Home Office commenced its outreach efforts, sending emails to holders of physical immigration documents, and urging them to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account.

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Through this account, individuals can effortlessly access their eVisas, digitized proof of their immigration status, paving the way for a streamlined migration experience.

Important Points to Remember

  • Creating a UKVI account is free and has no impact on your current immigration status.
  • You can access and update your eVisa information anytime, anywhere.
  • eVisas are secure, and linked to your unique biometric data just like BRPs.
  • If you already have an eVisa, you don’t need to take any action. However, keep your UKVI account information updated and carry your valid BRP while travelling abroad until it expires.

Also Read: Work Remotely from the UK! New Rules for Visitors Explained

Benefits of Digital Immigration System

  • Increased Efficiency: eVisas offers easier access and faster updates for both immigrants and the Home Office.
  • Enhanced Security: eVisas are linked to biometric data, making them resistant to fraud.
  • Cost Savings: Digital records eliminate the need for physical documents, saving taxpayer money.

Smooth Transition for Existing eVisa Holders

For immigrants already in possession of eVisas, no immediate action is required. However, it is imperative to keep the UKVI account updated with any changes in personal information to ensure continued compliance.

While travelling abroad, holders must retain their valid physical immigration documents until expiration, ensuring seamless transit during the transition phase.

Timeline for the Switch!

  • Most BRPs will expire by the end of 2024.
  • The complete transition to the eVisa system is expected by 2025.

Final Words

The UK’s switch to a digital immigration system with eVisas promises a more efficient, secure, and user-friendly experience for immigrants. By 2025, this digital shift will be complete, so stay informed and make the switch to eVisas for a smoother immigration journey in the UK.


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