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In a move to modernize its border control and immigration procedures, the UK government has announced that individuals holding physical immigration documents, known as Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs), will now need to transition to accessing their immigration status digitally, Wego reports. This shift, spearheaded by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) agency, aims to streamline processes and enhance security measures.

 

Starting in the summer of 2024, holders of BRPs will be required to create a UKVI account to obtain their e-visa, a digital representation of their immigration status. By 2025, nearly all visa holders residing in the UK will be mandated to utilize e-visas as physical documents such as BRPs and Biometric Residence Cards (BRCs) are phased out, with BRPs set to expire by the end of 2024.

The UK government assures the public that the transition process is straightforward and emphasizes that it will not alter individuals’ current immigration status or rights within the UK. Officials highlight that the introduction of eVisas is a pivotal step towards bolstering border security, mitigating fraud and document abuses, and aligning with the government’s vision of establishing a contactless border.

Tom Pursglove, Minister for Legal Migration and the Border, highlights the importance of the transition in enhancing border security, curbing immigration system exploitation, and saving costs. The shift to digital documentation is a significant procedural change, but the UK government assures it’s free, providing relief to visa holders amid rising costs influenced by evolving regulations.