UK Starts Electronic Visa Rollout

UK Starts Electronic Visa Rollout

Good news for UK visa holders! You can say goodbye to physical documents and hello to the future of UK digital visas.

The UK government is launching a major digital immigration initiative to transition visa holders from physical documents to eVisas.

The rollout of digital status is the next stage in the government’s plan to digitalise the immigration system and streamline border control and immigration processes for everyone.

From April 17, 2024, visa holders in the UK will receive an email from the Home Office, inviting them to create UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account to access their eVisa. Invitations will initially be issued in phases.

An eVisa is securely linked with the holder’s biometric information to protect against identity fraud. 

Physical documents like biometric residence permits (BRPs) will gradually fade away in the UK  with most BRPs expiring at the end of 2024. The Home Office has pledged that by 2025, practically all visa holders in the country will be able to acquire an eVisa.

eVisas can be accessed in real-time from anywhere, empowering individuals to manage their data efficiently and update the Home Office with relevant information promptly.

Transition To eVisa

The UK government says the process is straightforward for people who hold physical and paper documents to create a UKVI account to access their eVisa.

Creating a UKVI account will not change, impact or remove people's current immigration status or their rights in the UK, the Home Office says.

People who already have an eVisa don’t need to do anything as the Home Office will automatically make the change but they should continue to update their UKVI account with any changes to personal information such as new passport or contact details.

The process is free, something which will come as a relief for UK visa holders who have seen costs rise rapidly in recent years amid a changing system of rules that requires applicants to prove higher earnings.

When Travelling Overseas

Visa holders are advised to continue to carry their in-date physical immigration documents with them when they travel internationally until they expire.

To avoid delays when travelling, individuals who already have an eVisa should tell the Home Office about any passport on which they intend to travel using the online ‘Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details’ service on GOV.UK, if this is not already linked to their account.

eVisas can be accessed anywhere and in real-time, putting people in control of their own data and allowing them to swiftly update the Home Office with new contact or passport details.

The eVisa also allows government departments to check a person's immigration status to determine their eligibility for access to public services.

Where do you plan to travel this year? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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IaM can help with your visa application to Europe, the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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