As part of the Government’s strategy to fully digitise the UK border by 2025, the Home Office is switching from physical immigration to documents to eVisas. This accompanies the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for visitors on short-term visas.
Currently, digital status only exists for people on select visas, including the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and the Hong Kong BN(O) visa, but this will be expanded to all migrants, regardless of which visa they are on, by the end of 2024.
How will this affect my proof of status?
Instead of sharing physical visa documents, like a Biometric Residence Card or Permit, proof of status will be shown by signing in to the ‘View and Prove’ service. This service is also accessible if someone has a Certificate of Application for a certain visa route.
In order to prove right to work or rent, people will be able to generate a share code, where an employer or landlord will be able to check the individual’s name, immigration status, and any dates or conditions for their visa’s validity. This is shared through View and Prove.
What else changes?
People will have to upload a new photo of themselves every 5 years if under 16 and every 10 years if 16 or older. The maximum age this needs to be updated is 70 years old. People will also have to update their photo if they think their appearance has changed significantly. This is self-judged. The updated image is automatically compared against and matched with the existing photo. If the images are not automatically matched by the Home Office’s system, then a manual check may have to be performed by a Home Office caseworker.
How do I switch to an eVisa?
The expansion will be rolled out throughout 2024, so you do not have to take any steps right now. The Home Office will release updates on when and how to register for an UKVI account.
More information on eVisas can be found here.
You can also find more of our work on the Digital Hostile Environment here.
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