View and prove your
12 May 2021
When the UK launched its new points-based immigration system in December 2020, the Home Office announced its intention to implement a “fully digital end-to-end customer journey” for overseas citizens arriving in the UK to work, study or visit.
In keeping with this vision, the Home Office is increasingly utilising digital technology for visa application processes and immigration status records.
As we have seen with the EU Settlement Scheme and the Hong Kong BNO visa route, certain applicants do not receive any physical documentation to show the outcome of their visa or settlement application, and are instead issued with a digital immigration status.
However, there are certain circumstances where an overseas citizen may need to prove their immigration status in order to access certain services or prove their right to work in the UK. If you do not hold a physical document showing your immigration status, you may be able to access this information online.
View and prove your immigration status online
The ‘view and prove your immigration status’ tool is an online service provided by the Home Office which allows certain individuals to access proof of their residency status and share it with others, such as an employer. The tool can be accessed using this link: https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status
The service can be used to:
- Obtain a ‘share code’ to prove your immigration status to an employer
- Update your personal details such as your passport number or email address
- Check what rights you have in the UK, including the right to work, rent or claim benefits.
You can use the online tool if you:
- Have been granted settled or pre-settled status
- Applied for a visa and used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ smartphone app to complete the identity stage of your application.
You cannot use the online service if you have a vignette in your passport or a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) to evidence your immigration status.
The expiry of BRP cards
Anyone awarded a UK visa valid beyond 2024, is currently issued with a BRP card indicating an expiry date of 31 December 2024, despite the fact that they have been granted permission to remain in the UK past this date.
Originally, this was due to an EU restriction. At the time, the Home Office were unable to issue BRPs which incorporated the next generation encryption technology required by the EU and were therefore prohibited from issuing BRPs beyond 31 December 2024. Following the UK’s departure from the EU in January 2021, these restrictions were lifted and the UK moved to a new format for BRPs.
However, rather than choosing to resume issuing the documents with an expiry date reflecting the duration of leave, the Home Office has opted to push forward with its plans to digitalise immigration statuses and will no longer be issuing BRPs beyond 31 December 2024.
Will physical documents be phased out entirely?
Advancements in technology mean that the Home Office has already been able to roll out fully digital application processes, as demonstrated by the EU Settlement Scheme, where in most cases applicants have been able to submit their documentation and verify their ID using a smartphone app and have not been required to personally attend a visa application centre.
Given the recent processing backlogs and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which has played havoc with many visa and settlement applications, a move towards a paperless immigration system would present clear benefits to the Home Office and applicants alike.
Due to the expiry date placed on BRPs and no clear plans for a replacement system to issue physical documents, it is anticipated that the Home Office will introduce digital visas for all categories by 2024.
Understanding the UK’s immigration rules
To help employers and applicants understand and adjust to the UK’s post-Brexit immigration rules, Smith Stone Walters has created a comprehensive guide to the points-based system. You can download your free digital guide here.
If you have any questions, Smith Stone Walters would be happy to help. To speak to one of our experienced immigration advisors, please call 0208 461 6660, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.