Do you have a physical visa document?

The Home Office is changing the way in which individuals prove their immigration status in the UK and are inviting individuals in phases during 2024 to register for a UKVI account.

Physical documents such as BRPs and passports containing a vignette are being replaced by a digital immigration status known as an “eVisa”. The Home Office aims to replace physical documents with a new digital system by 2025. You can read further details about these proposals by viewing the Home Office website.

Registering for a UKVI account will mean that you can view your status online, and also share your status with others such as your institution or landlord. You may receive an email directly about this, or as the Home Office is contacting individuals using a last known contact email address, this email may go directly to your sponsor or legal representative depending on what information you provided with your Student application. It is important that you check your email (including your junk emails) or check with your institution, or legal representative to see if they have received an email on your behalf. We understand that a number of students were contacted via email by the Home Office on the 3 April 2024.

If you are not emailed during this notification process, all individuals with physical documents will be able to register for a UKVI account later in 2024. You should not attempt to register for a UKVI account before you are invited to do so, or until later in 2024 when this service will be available for all holders of a physical immigration document. If you have a BRP which has been “short-dated” to 31 December 2024 even though your immigration permission goes beyond this date, you will also need to follow this process in order to prove your immigration status thereafter. Those who already have an eVisa will not be affected by this process.

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Home Office event: E-Visa information session

The Home Office is developing a border and immigration system which is digital by default. Using a phased approach to implementing digital services, our aim is that by 2025 most customers will have a secure and seamless digital journey when they interact with the UK’s immigration system. Reserve your place here.

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Information on eVisas and why you need one

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are developing a digital immigration system. This means we are replacing physical documents with an online record of your immigration status. This is known as an eVisa.

Please check if you need to take further steps here.

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Changes to legal migration rules for family and work visas in 2024

Answers to some frequently asked questions about immigration changes happening in 2024, including to the minimum income to sponsor a spouse/partner visa here.

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Immigration changes for dependants

From 1 January 2024, tough government action means most international students can now no longer bring family members to the UK. More information here.

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EU Settlement Scheme

In order to protect your current rights in the UK, you must at least have submitted an application to the EU Settlement Scheme even if you have not yet had a decision.

If you are having difficulties with your application to the scheme, you can contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre by clicking on the link on the page and selecting the appropriate option.

PLEASE NOTE: The scheme application deadline is fast approaching; 30 June 2021. There is no guarantee that the deadline will be extended even due to issues resulting from the pandemic.

Alternative sources of information/guidance include:

If you have already applied to the scheme, the Kent EU Rights Clinic would like your help with their survey to analyse recurring issues faced with applying to the scheme. Please see their request below:

Dear Students,

 As you may be aware, due to Brexit and as of 1 January 2021, EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals residing or arriving in the UK are now subject to special immigration regulations. In order to guarantee various rights including the right to remain in the UK, EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

 We are part of the EU Rights Clinic, and are currently working on a project concerning the implementation of the EU Settlement Scheme. There have been many reports of issues with the scheme, the application process, and the software, which in many cases could endanger the proper safeguarding of individual citizens’ rights. To help EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals keep their rights post-Brexit we are now compiling a list of complaints to be submitted to the Independent Monitoring Authority and EU institutions, both to increase awareness and to ensure that non-British citizens’ concerns are taken seriously.

 To do so, we need as much data on the various issues arising throughout the process as possible. If you have applied, if you haven’t but are planning on it, or even if you most likely will not be applying, your help in this would be greatly appreciated. We have created a survey that should take between 3 to 15 minutes where you will be asked about yourself, your application, and various possible issues that may have occurred throughout. You will also be given the opportunity to voice any other concerns you have about the EU Settlement Scheme or your own rights in the UK following Brexit.

 For further information on the survey, as well as to fill in the survey itself, please follow this link: If you have any questions or concerns about answering the survey or the survey itself, please contact us at

Any data obtained through the survey will be treated confidentially, and none of your personal information will be mentioned in any formal complaint. All results obtained through this survey will be presented in an anonymous fashion.

Thank you in advance for your help, we greatly appreciate it!

Best regards,

Francesca Fiore and Isabell Becker-Ebert

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UPDATE: Graduate Route

The Graduate immigration route is due to launch on 1 July 2021. It will enable students who have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree to remain in the UK for up to two years to work after study (three years if they have completed a PhD).

See the Home Office Fact sheet and UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website for more information.

The new route will be opened for applications from 1 July 2021.

Students who began a course of 12 months or less in 2020 or 2021 via distance learning, and who have not previously entered the UK to study that course will be able to make a Graduate application if they make a successful Student visa application and arrive in the UK either before their visa ends or by 27 September 2021, whichever is sooner.

If you already came to the UK under your current Student route permission but then you switched to distance learning from home, you just need to return to the UK on or before the end date of your Student permission in order to be eligible to apply for the Graduate Route.

Students sponsored for a course lasting longer than 12 months will not be prevented from being eligible for the Graduate route as a result of any distance learning that took place either in the UK or overseas between the period of 24 January 2020 and 27 September 2021. They must however be in the UK on valid Tier 4/Student permission to remain eligible.

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New Graduate route to open from 1 July 2021

In Autumn 2020, the UK Government published updated information concerning the Student immigration route.

On 4 March 2021, legislation was put through to launch the new Graduate immigration route.

It will be opened for applications from 1 July 2021.

For students who began their Master’s programme for 2020-21 by distance or blended learning due to Covid-19, they must arrive in the UK before 21 June 2021 (amended from 6 April 2021) to complete their final semester of studies to be eligible for the route. Students who began their Master’s programme in January 2021 will need to be in the UK by 27 September 2021.

The Graduate Immigration Route will enable students who have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree to remain in the UK for two years after study (three years if they have completed a PhD). Please follow the link above or see the Home Office Fact sheet for more information on the route.

The University Careers and Employability service will be offering a free session on this visa route delivered by Penningtons Law on 24th March from 6-7pm. To join the session, use this link and register

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is offering a FREE webinar about the new route on 25 March 2021 from 2:30-4:00pm. Students should book a place on the UKCISA website.

Kent Union Advice Centre also has information about the route.


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Travelling without a BRP

Under current UK Covid-19 restrictions non-essential travel, including abroad, is not permitted unless an individual has a legally permitted reason to do so.

The Home Office does not encourage travel outside the UK without your BRP card. If you choose to, you will need to make an application to apply for a single-entry visa in order to return to the UK. The fee for this is £154 and can be applied for here. This does not affect the production or validity of the BRP card or any existing grant of leave.

The cost of the single entry visa will not be refunded. If you choose to leave the UK before receiving your BRP card, you do so on the understanding that you will need to apply and pay for a single-entry visa to return.  UKVI will not refund the visa fee or reimburse any other costs associated with the application.

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Biometric Residence Permits Delays

Current update on BRPs:

The Home Office is working hard to respond to customer enquiries and resolve issues, but it is currently taking up to 40 days to respond.

Collection of BRPs:

To assist BIDMU in clearing outstanding enquiries, please do not send chaser e-forms or emails via or

The following information may also be of assistance:

  • If you are expecting your BRP to be delivered to your  UK home address you should contact UKVI’s delivery partner, TNT, directly to arrange re-delivery if you have received a delivery email from either UKVI or TNT.
  • If you need to change a delivery address, please can contact TNT directly. Please allow time for TNT to liaise with UKVI for their address details to be updated, this can take up to five working days.
  • If you are collecting your BRP from a Post Office you should not collect the BRP until after you have completed this period of isolation. BRPs will be held at their designated collection point for up to 90 days from the start date printed on the vignette and will be available for collection once you have fulfilled any quarantine requirements.
  • You will not face any penalties if unable to collect your BRP within ten days of arrival in the UK due to quarantine requirements.
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