Article

eVisas and what they mean for recruitment

The phased roll-out of online immigration status will bring changes to international recruitment and right to work checks

25 March 2024

Over 2024 UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will be replacing physical immigration documents, such as biometric residence permits (BRPs) and vignettes, with digital immigration status (eVisas).

UKVI is developing a digital immigration system to replace physical documents with an online record known as an eVisa. The eVisa will be replacing BRPs, Biometric Residence Cards (BRCs), passport endorsements (such as indefinite leave to remain wet ink stamps), and vignette stickers in passports.

Key points 
  • The phased roll out of the eVisa will take effect throughout 2024 and will be done per visa group. UKVI will provide updates when individuals will need to register for a UKVI account and what they need to do.  
  • Some individuals may have already been contacted to create an account, either by email or in a decision letter. Individuals who have received this can now follow the instructions to create a UKVI account. 
  • Individuals who have not yet been contacted should continue to use their current document until told to create a UKVI account and should wait until later in 2024 to create an account to access an eVisa. 
  • If a BRP expires on 31 December 2024, UKVI will advise how to create a UKVI account and access an eVisa before the expiry date of the BRP. 
  • If another document is being used as evidence of permission to stay in the UK, for example a stamp in a passport, it will not be possible to create a UKVI account or access the eVisa yet.
  • Individuals with biometric residence card (BRC) who have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme already have an eVisa.  

Individuals who have indefinite leave to enter or indefinite leave to remain in the UK (also known as settlement) and currently prove settlement rights through a different type of physical document, such as a wet-ink stamp in a passport or a vignette sticker, should make a no time limit (NTL) application to obtain their BRP. The BRP is required to create a UKVI account later in 2024. Once created, they will be able to sign in to the view and prove service to access their eVisa. 

Individuals with a BRC who have not been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme, obtained another form of immigration leave, or have not become a British citizen, will have an invalid BRC, even if it appears to still be in date. This is because the UK has left the EU, and the EU free movement law no longer applies.

Updating a physical document to an eVisa does not affect the immigration status or the conditions of the persons permissions to enter or stay in the UK.

In the future, it will be possible to use an eVisa to travel to the UK. Individuals will not need to carry a physical document, except for their current passport, which must be registered to their UKVI account. 

New applications

If individuals need to make a new application for permission to stay in the UK, the usual application process still needs to be followed. There will be information and guidance provided during the application process if it is required to create a UKVI account.

Right to work

Employers will need to continue to perform right to work checks standard. The right to work check standard will be kept up-to-date if there are any changes to this. The most up-to-date guidance is available on the GOV.UK website.

The full guidance on eVisas is available on the GOV.UK website

Employers can register for updates on the GOV.UK page