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12 August 2022

Immediate suspension of the Police Registration Scheme announced

3 mins

The Police Registration Scheme was suspended with little notice on Thursday 4 August 2022. This change impacts all those already registered with the police, as well as those due to arrive in the UK, and those who are already in the UK but who have yet to register.

What is/was the Police Registration Scheme?

The requirement within the UK Immigration Rules to register with the police, and to notify them of some personal changes, applied to certain nationalities of visa holders, aged 16 and over, where they have permission to be in the UK for more than six months in some specified visa categories.

As noted above, the requirement to register with the police on arrival in the UK (as well as to notify the police of certain changes) has been suspended with immediate effect from Thursday 4 August. 

A Home Office announcement published on Monday 8 August 2022 indicated the reason for the change is that:

The registration scheme in its current form is outdated and no longer provides any public protection benefit to either the Home Office or the police. The data a migrant provides to the police on registration is already captured by the Home Office at the visa application stage, and is available to the police on request via Immigration Enforcement, so there is no need for it to be provided twice.

How does the suspension of the Police Registration Scheme impact visa holders?

  1. Visa holders already in the UK and who were required to be registered with the police are now no longer required to register with the police if they have not yet done so;
  2. the same groups of visa holders who are registered are now no longer required to communicate any changes to their personal circumstances to the police;
  3. visa holders who have yet to travel on a visa containing a condition requiring them to register with the police will either:
    1. have their visa reissued; or
    2. be notified of the changes in advance of travel; 
  4. visa holders applying for further leave to remain in the UK will no longer be required to submit a copy of their Police Registration Card with their extension application. 

Changes that do require notification to the Home Office, such as a change of address or change of name, should still be communicated to the Home Office here. 

At the time of writing, the UK Immigration Rules have not yet been amended in line with this change and the Home Office website still contains a reference to the need to register – although their own guidance has been withdrawn. However, the Metropolitan Police and OVRO websites have been updated.

If you have any questions as to how this change impacts you or your business, please contact Tanya Goldfarb, senior consultant and head of the Business Immigration Team.

This article is provided for information purposes only. The contents are valid on the date of publication and may be subject to change. Please see our legal notice here. 

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