How to apply E-VISA (BRP card replacement)

“Millions are being invited to switch from physical immigration documents to an eVisa – a key step in creating a modernised and digital border.”– UK Home Office

As per the recent announcement by the Home Office on the 17th of April 2024, the Home Office will begin to send emails to all those with physical immigration documents, called biometric residence permits (BRPs), inviting them to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account to access their eVisa, a digital proof of their immigration status. These invitations will be issued in phases before the service is open to all. Following this announcement, anyone with a valid Leave to Remain will be able to create a UKVI account sometime around summers 2024.

In effect, this means that any UK visa, issued subsequent to this announcement will be an eVisa instead of a Paper visa or a Residence Permit since the Government is aiming for a digital immigration and border system by 2025. As a result, anyone will be able to prove their immigration status and immigration rights online.

The Government’s aim through this policy change is the reduction the of fraud, loss and abuse of psychical documents. Tom Pursglove, the minister for legal migration and the border, said replacing physical BRPs with a digital system “will ensure firm control over who comes here to live, work or study”.

Has your contact information changed?
However, in the scenario that you are currently in the UK on a Leave to Remain and your contact information has changed, you must update your contact information using the online change of address form so the Home Office is able to contact you.

What if your BRP expires before 2025 but you have a valid Leave to Remain?
If your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) expires on or before the 31st of December 2024 and you have a valid leave to remain in the UK – you’re not required to renew your BRP.

The context of this development stems from the EU regulations with regards to this – the EU requires BRPs to incorporate next generation encryption technology. The UK Home Office was unable to issue BRPs in line with this technology, therefore, the Home Office proceeded to issue BRPs with an expiration of, or before 31st December 2024, irrespective of whether the individual’s Leave to Remain exceeded this date. This was in line with the plan to end BRPs and instead move towards a digital system.

Although the EU regulations were not applicable to the UK subsequent to their departure from the EU, the Home Office persisted with their plan to digitalize immigration status information.

Adam and Bernards Immigration Team has extensive experience in all aspects of UK immigration law. If you have any queries relating to the blogs published or are interested in talking to us about your situation, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice,.

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