The Home Office has published further information about the digital immigration system which is expected to be fully in force by the beginning of 2025.
The new system will mean that individuals will no longer be issued with a physical document (e.g. a biometric residence permit) confirming their immigration status, but rather will have an online record of their status and conditions of their leave, known as an eVisa.
Some people, like those who have been granted leave under the European Settlement Scheme or proved their identity when making a visa application using the UK Immigration: ID Check app, have already been issued with an eVisa. However, those individuals who do not yet have an eVisa will first need to register for a UKVI account and will then be able to access their eVisa and share information about their status / conditions of leave with prospective employers and landlords through that account. It will also be possible to update personal information, for example a change of address or current passport details, within the account.
The update from the Home Office states that if you currently have permission to stay in the UK and have a physical document, you do not need to do anything yet in respect of setting up an online UKVI account. The Home Office will provide updates during 2024 about when you need to register for an account and how to do this. Those who need to apply for an extension of leave to remain during this time should follow the normal application process and will be provided with information and guidance about setting up a UKVI account if so required.
As always, it is very important that those with limited leave confirmed on a physical document, or by way of an eVisa, diarise the expiry of their leave and take steps to leave the UK or apply for an extension of leave prior to that expiry date to ensure that they do not unwittingly become an overstayer, which is a criminal offence.