The UKVI has announced that it will be doing away with biometric residence permits at the end of 2024 and replacing them with eVisas. Read on to see how this affects you and the steps that you will need to take.

All biometric residence permits will expire at the end of December 2024, even if your leave to remain does not. The Home Office is in the process of making the move to eVisas for all those who have UK visas that allow them to live and work in the UK and this will be in full force come 2025. 

It’s important to reiterate that switching to an eVisa from a physical document does not impact your immigration status. It just means that from 2025, you will have a different way of proving your immigration status.

What is a UK eVisa?

An eVisa is an online record of your immigration status and the conditions for your permission to enter or stay in the UK. This will be used to share relevant information, such as your right to work or right to rent.

In the future, you will be able to travel to the UK using just your eVisa, without the need for a physical BRP. However, you must carry your current passport, which must be registered to your UKVI account. Until the end of 2024, if you have a physical BRP, you will need to carry it when you travel.

An eVisa is not the same thing as a visa. A visa is the permission you need from UKVI to enter or stay in the UK, this usually gets stamped in your passport. While an eVisa is an online record of this permission.

Is the UK eVisa the same as an ETA?

The UK eVisa is not the same as an electronic travel authorisation (ETA). An ETA is a new online security system being introduced by the UK government to electronically screen non-visa nationals who are currently entitled to travel to the UK visa-free for up to six months. This could be for the purposes of tourism, transit, business or short-term study.

Benefits of a UK eVisa

Benefits of having a digital visa include:

  • Not having to carry a physical document, aside from your passport, to travel to the UK
  • It is secure and cannot be lost, stolen or tampered with
  • You will not need to wait for, or collect, a physical document
  • It will be quicker and easier to prove your status at the UK border

Why the shift to eVisas?

The UK is moving towards a digital border and immigration system. This advancement means that traditional physical documents, such as BRPs and vignette visa stickers, will be replaced by digital eVisas.

This transition supports the broader goals of digital transformation, aiming to improve security, accessibility, and convenience for individuals needing to prove their right to stay in the UK.

How do I apply for a UK eVisa?

To access your eVisa, you will need to create a UKVI account. You can create your account at the following link: Get access to your eVisa.

To set up your eVisa or update your UKVI account, you will need:

  • Your date of birth
  • Your BRP number
  • Your passport details (if you do not possess a BRP)
  • Access to an email address and contact number
  • A smartphone

If you already have a UKVI account that was used to submit an application within the UK, you should not need to create another separate account. If a legal representative prepared your application or created your UKVI account, then the Home Office will be in contact with them.

The following physical documents will be replaced with an eVisa:

  • biometric residence permits (BRP)
  • biometric residence cards (BRC) 
  • passport endorsements, this may for example include an indefinite leave to enter wet ink stamp 
  • vignette stickers in passports, such as entry clearance or visa vignette 

If you have a biometric residence permit

The Home Office is in the process of reaching out to individuals once their BRPs are ready to be linked to their eVisa. However, while you wait for this, you can create your eVisa account. This will speed up the process once the Home Office has registered your BRP internally.

If you have another physical document

If you have indefinite leave to remain or enter and currently prove your status with a physical document like a passport stamp or vignette sticker, you should apply for a 'no time limit' (NTL) status.

If your NTL application is approved, you will receive a BRP to prove your rights. You should carry your BRP and passport when traveling internationally. Once you have a BRP, you can create a UKVI account to access your eVisa later this year.

If you have a biometric residence card

If you have a biometric residence card (BRC) and you have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme, then you already have an eVisa and you do not need to take any action to obtain one.

Our expert UK immigration consultants will be happy to give you further information on the transition to eVisas if you have any queries. You can contact them on +27 (0) 21 657 2180 or +44 (0) 20 7759 5330 or send an email to

We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you'll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.