UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are developing a digital immigration system by replacing physical documents with the eVisa, which is an online record of individuals’ immigration status and the conditions of their permission to enter or stay in the UK. The UK’s effort to replace physical immigration documents with digital immigration status (eVisas) will ramp up throughout 2024.  

The eVisa is not an entirely new option, having been part of the UK immigration system EU Settlement Scheme since 2018, as the UK began to transition towards ending its membership with the European Union.

Millions of individuals have opted into the UK eVisa system since its inception. However, starting January 1, 2021, all EU citizens arriving in the UK became subject to the new immigration system. 

Throughout 2024, the UKVI will contact (physical) visa holders, starting with skilled workers, instructing them to register an UKVI account and switch to an e-visa.

What documents does an eVisa replace:

Once established, an eVisa replaces the following documents:

  • Biometric residence permits
  • Biometric residence cards
  • Passport endorsements, such as indefinite leave to enter wet ink stamps
  • Vignette stickers in passports, such as entry clearance or visa vignettes.

What are the benefits of having a UK eVisa?

According to the UKVI, eVisas provide many benefits. For example:

  • They are secure and cannot be lost, stolen, or tampered with, unlike a physical document.
  • Applicants need not wait for, or collect, a physical document after their application is decided. (In some cases, applicants may still need to provide biometric information in person.)
  • It will be faster and easier to prove your status at the UK border.

Individuals need to register for a UKVI account to securely view and share relevant information about their status with third parties, such as employers or landlords.

How eVisas benefit international recruitment

The use of eVisas will streamline the recruiting process for both UK employers and foreign applicants.

“This will change how international recruits apply for visas, enter the UK, and evidence their right to work,” NHS Employers explains. Furthermore, “Applicants will need to register for a UKVI account to use the view-and-prove service and share relevant information securely with third parties, such as employers. Applicants will be able to update personal details, such as current passport information, and provide share codes to employers to evidence their right to work.” 


UK Visas and Immigration

NHS Employers

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