The eVisa marks the beginning of a new digital UK immigration system.
The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) announced in October 2023 that they will be replacing all physical documents with an online record of a person’s immigration status.
What is an eVisa?
The eVisa will be an online record of a person’s immigration status. It will show the conditions of a person’s permission to stay or enter the UK.
In the future, a person will be able to use their eVisa to travel to the UK, together with their physical passport. However, until then, you will need to carry the physical document, if you have one, together with your passport.
What UK Immigration Documents Will the eVisa Replace?
The eVisa will, in future, replace the following:
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRP),
- Biometric Residence Cards (BRC),
- Passport endorsements, and
- Vignette stickers in passports.
Benefits of the eVisa
The benefit of the eVisa is that you only need to carry your passport with you. It will make it easier to prove your status at the UK Border. Your immigration status will thus be available online and accessible from around the world.
The UK Government says that it will also mean that a person no longer has to wait for or collect a physical document after an application is finalised. However, you might still need to provide biometric information in person. They also believe that the eVisa will be more secure, as it cannot be tampered with or stolen.
How to Enable your eVisa
To access and see your eVisa, you will need to register for a UKVI account.
Persons who currently have permission to stay in the UK and have a BRP, BRC or other physical documents to prove their immigration status do not need to take any action now.
The UK Government will provide updates throughout 2024 on when a person needs to register for a UKVI account and what they need to do.
Your UKVI Account
Once a person has been instructed to register for their UKVI account, they will be able to view and prove their immigration status online. They will also be able to share their immigration status with third parties to prove their right to work or rent in the UK. This will be done by generating a share code.
The UKVI will automatically share a person’s immigration status with other government departments and public authorities.
How Breytenbachs can help you
It is important to note that the UK Government will provide updates on the eVisa in the coming months and throughout 2024. You will be told when you need to register for a UKVI account and what you need to do.
If you currently have permission to stay in the UK and have a BRP, BRC or other physical documents to prove your immigration status, you do not need to take any action now.
Breytenbachs will update clients as more information becomes available. You are also welcome to speak to your Breytenbachs consultant for more information.