Physical Biometric Residence Permits set to be phased out – What to do when it expires

Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) are issued by the Home Office. They are physical cards confirming identity, containing all biometric information, immigration status and the conditions of the visa holder’s stay in the UK. There is a drastic change in how the Home Office will manage this information going forward. You will notice that even if your visa postdates December 31st, 2024, your BRP card is due to expire. Here’s why.

The reason behind the change is intriguing. It began pre-Brexit when the UK was part of the European Union. The EU required all member states to adopt and upgrade their encryption technology for such documents. The idea behind this tech-driven change was to enable member states to offer their citizens digital identity wallets, making it easier to prove their identity, share electronic documents using wallets and apps on their mobiles without relying on physical documents. While the UK is no longer part of the EU, it still aims to adopt digital technologies to remain technologically current. The Home Office will be implementing a fully digital system from January 1st, 2025. There will no doubt be new legislation or further changes to existing laws as the Home Office develops policies related to digital identity and safeguarding privacy and security.

If your BRP shows an expiry date of December 31st, 2024, you do not need to make a BRP renewal application as your status will now be shown online. However, as a physical BRP cardholder, you do need to register for a UKVI account during 2024 to gain access to the Home Office’s ‘View and Prove’ service. This service will give you access to an eVisa to prove your immigration status via a share code. This share code will allow you to prove your right to work, study, and rent accommodation.

The Home Office have announced that individuals should still travel with their physical travel documents and visas for the time being, until the change has been fully implemented.

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain with a BRP expiring before December 31st, 2024, you should apply for renewal as per usual from within the UK. The expiry date of your new BRP will also be December 31st, 2024. Once you have your BRP card, you will need to register for a UKVI account before the end of 2024, giving you access to an eVisa and to use the ‘View and Prove’ service.

The Home Office will provide guidance throughout 2024. If you are unsure how this may affect you, it is advised that you seek the guidance of a qualified lawyer as Immigration law is constantly changing. If you are looking for one of the best-rated immigration lawyers in London, consider reaching out to Mulgrave Law, immigration lawyers, London. They have years of experience and a long track record of successfully liaising with the Home Office and achieving the desired outcome for visa applications.

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For expert advice and representation regarding any aspect of UK immigration law, including UK visa applications, contact our London immigration lawyers on 02072537248 or complete our enquiry form to book a FREE consultation.

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