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UK immigration document holders must apply for a UKVI account

16 April 2024

Affected individuals will need to set up a UKVI account to be able to view and prove their immigration status beyond 31 December 2024, which is the deadline for physical immigration documents to be replaced by eVisas. Employers will have an important part to play in the transition process.

The eVisa roll-out is part of the UK’s plan to develop an entirely digital immigration system.

Millions of individuals have an eVisa already, for example through the EU Settlement Scheme. During 2024, the roll-out of eVisas will expand to replace physical documents like Biometric Residence Permits (BRP).

What are the implications of this change for employers?

Although an individual’s immigration permission is not affected by the transition to eVisa status, they may encounter difficulties with proving their immigration and travelling to the UK if they do not obtain a UKVI account by the end of this year.

To avoid business disruption, employers should start planning a communications strategy to notify affected staff that they need to apply for a UKVI account. They should also decide what level of assistance to provide for the application process itself.

What will affected individuals need to do?

The Home Office has started to contact an initial pool of BRP holders directly by email. The instructions in the email should be followed to set up a UKVI account.

Affected individuals should ensure that the Home Office has their up-to-date email address so that communications are not missed. An updated email address can be reported free of charge using an online or paper form. (Note that the online form is outdated and was initially created for a change of physical address, but it is possible to add personal details and an email address).

At present, applying for a UKVI account is by invitation only, however the application process will be made available to all BRP holders from summer 2024 and other affected groups later in the year. In the meantime, employers and affected individuals are encouraged to read the Home Office’s eVisa guidance and sign up for updates.

Who is affected?

The table summarises the position for holders of specific document types and the action the individual should take.

Document holder Action required 

BRPs expiring on 31 December 2024

An individual might have a BRP if they applied to come to the UK for longer than 6 months, extended their visa to longer than 6 months or are settled in the UK.

  • Wait for a communication on how to create a UKVI account
  • Create a UKVI account before 31 December 2024
  • Use the View and Prove service to access the eVisa 

Biometric Residence Permits (BRC) under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

An individuals might have a BRC if they are a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. BRCs have ‘residence card’ printed on them.

  • No action is required. BRC holders already have a UKVI account and an eVisa.
  • BRC holders should continue to carry their BRC when travelling internationally. 

Biometric Residence Card (BRC) under European law

  • A BRC not issued under EUSS is no longer valid. To continue living in the UK, a holder of a BRC issued under European law should apply for valid immigration status as soon as possible.
  • Do not travel internationally until you have obtained a proof of your immigration status.             

Passport endorsements such as a wet ink stamp or sticker confirming indefinite leave to enter or remain (ILE or ILR)

Wet ink stamps were issued before it was a requirement to possess a BRP. Wet ink stamps remain valid, but action is required to facilitate the move to an eVisa.

  • At the time of writing, the Home Office guidance advises wet ink stamp or vignette (sticker) holders with ILE/ILR or settlement to make a ‘No Time Limit (NTL) application’. A BRP is issued following this application.
  • Once a BRP is issued, it will be possible to create a UKVI account.
  • Use the View and Prove service to access the eVisa.
  • When travelling internationally, carry both passport and BRP until the BRP expires. 

All other physical immigration documents


An individual might have a visa sticker in their passport if they applied for entry clearance to the UK, for a duration of less than 6 months, for example.

  • Action required will depend on the circumstances.
  • Those with an ILR visa sticker can follow the above steps to make an NTL application.
  • Those with temporary permission will need to extend before the expiry.  
If current immigration permission is expiring before 31 December 2024  
  • Follow the usual application process and apply before immigration permission expires.
  • If the individual is eligible, they will be prompted during the process to create a UKVI account.   
British citizens with multiple nationalities who do not hold a valid British or Irish passport
  • These individuals, including those with a current certificate of entitlement to the right of abode may need to take action and should check the Home Office’s eVisa guidance for updates.
Valid British or Irish passport holders  
  • No action required.

What should affected individuals ensure when travelling to the UK?

Affected individuals should continue to travel with their physical immigration documents throughout 2024. The Home Office plans for carriers (including transport operators such as airlines, ferry, and international train operators) to be able to access the immigration status of passengers travelling on their services automatically from Summer 2024. Passengers will present their passport which is linked to their UKVI account. This should automate the existing routine checks.

Individuals who have an eVisa should update their UKVI account with any passport on which they intend to travel, using the “update my details” service if it is not already linked to their account. They can do this using the ‘update my details’ service on their UKVI account.

From 2025, those who have not obtained a UKVI account will need to do so to avoid potential travel disruption.

What does this mean for individuals who already have a UKVI account?

For individuals who already have and use a UKVI account, for example who have been granted status through the EU Settlement Scheme or who used the ID checking app when applying for their visa, nothing will change. They should continue to present employers with a share code for right to work checks.

If you would like assistance with devising a communications strategy for your business, please contact a member of our Immigration Team.

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