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Five compliance tips for UK Visas and Immigration account holders

05 May 2022

Individuals who hold a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account need to maintain the details recorded in it. In this article we outline some tips for when to review and update the information to minimise the chance of delays at the border and to ensure access to the account is not disrupted.

A UKVI account is made available to individuals who have made a successful application to the EU Settlement scheme or for a visa using the UK Immigration: ID Check app. The account allows them to view their immigration permission online and share the details with third parties such as employers, landlords and education institutions. The account is also used by Border Force when passengers arrive in the UK. Delays can be encountered at the border where, for example, the UKVI account has not been updated to include the passport the individual wishes to enter on.

There are two apps the Home Office uses that lead to a UKVI account being created or updated. For the EU Settlement Scheme this is the EU Exit: ID Document Check app and for other eligible applications this is the Using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.  

Tip 1: Following the approval of new immigration permission, update the details on the UKVI account straight away

To initially verify an applicant’s identity on either of the apps, they will need to have a biometric EEA passport, or their most recently issued biometric residence permit (BRP) or biometric residence card (BRC).

If a BRP or BRC number is used to set up the UKVI account, once the immigration permission has been approved, the individual should update their log in document details as their BRP or BRC will no longer be valid.

A visa national will receive a new BRP or BRC showing their new immigration permission. Once received, they should log in to their UKVI account and enter the details of their new BRP or BRC. They should also include their passport information and can choose whether to make the passport their identity document for logging into the account.

A non-visa national will be granted an eVisa, and will not have a further physical BRP or BRC issued. They should update their account to show their passport as the log in identity document.

These changes can be made at Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details - GOV.UK.

Tip 2: Return a superseded BRP or BRC to the Home Office

Once any new immigration permission has been granted, any BRP or BRC previously held will become invalid and should be returned to the Home Office. To do this, the BRP or BRC will need to be cut into quarters and posted in a windowless plain envelope to the address detailed in the Home Office application approval email. Failure to return the document can lead to a penalty of up to £1,000 becoming payable.

Tip 3: Know what details need to be maintained or can be added to the UKVI account and keep the information up-to-date

All individuals who have a UKVI account are under an obligation to keep their profiles up-to-date.

Key pieces of information which must be kept up-to-date include:

  • Mobile phone number;
  • Email address (it is preferable to use a personal email address that is accessed regularly);
  • Name;
  • Identity document; and
  • UK address.

It is not however possible to change the identity document or name details if the individual has an outstanding immigration application with UKVI.

The UKVI account also can be updated to:

  • Correct an incorrect date of birth;
  • Add an additional nationality;
  • Add an extra identity document (e.g. passport, national ID and/or current BRP or BRC);
  • Change a photo (e.g. following a change of appearance that makes the individual no longer resemble the image on the account);
  • Grant another person access to the individual’s visa applications (e.g. if that person is assisting to apply for a future immigration application); and
  • Give another person ownership of the account if it was previously set up on their behalf.

As well as updating the UKVI account, if any of the information contained on a BRP or BRC changes, a replacement document should also be applied for.

Once received, the details of the new BRP or BRC should be updated on the UKVI account.

As it can be easy to forget to update the details on the UKVI account, it may be helpful to schedule periodic reminders to log into the account and check whether the details are still correct and if anything needs updating or adding.

Tip 4: Double-check that the details in the UKVI account are up-to-date before making a further application for UK immigration permission

This will help to ensure that any communications from the Home Office are received and that multiple UKVI accounts are not created. This can happen if a different identity document is used for a new application.

Tip 5: Be aware that being eligible to use the app for one application does not necessarily mean it can then be used for all further applications

If a non-visa national makes an in-country visa application using a BRP card as the identity document for the UK Immigration: ID check app, they will be issued with an eVisa only and will not receive a fresh BRP.

Under current processes, unless the person is an EEA national, they will not be able to use the UK Immigration: ID check app for their next application. This is because the app requires the applicant to have either a BRP or an EEA passport. Relevant individuals will be required to go to a UKVCAS service point to enrol their biometrics and will be issued with a fresh BRP once the application is approved. We anticipate that UKVI may resolve this issue in the future through allowing passports from a wider range of nationalities to be accepted on the app.

If you have any queries about the issues covered in this article, please contact a member of our Immigration Team.

 

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