The UK Introduces Legal Migration And Border Control Plan
Today, we will look at the new updates made in UK Immigration. This is Part 1 of our ‘UK Introduces Legal Migration And Border Control Plan’ Blog.
On 20 July 2022, the Home Office revealed further details of its plan to deliver an end-to-end digital immigration system. The planned system transformation will include a digital process for permission to travel, identity verification for immigration applications, and using eVisas to cross the border and demonstrate entitlements within the UK.
The New Plan For Immigration: Legal Migration And Border Control Strategy Covers The Home Office’s Vision Across The Following Areas:
- Planning to come to the UK
- Making an application
- Travelling to the UK
- Crossing the border
- Living in the UK
- Cross-system improvements
Planning To Come To The UK
The Home Office Intends To:
- Deliver more precise customer guidance on GOV.UK, with a streamlined set of guidelines for work visas due to be available later in 2022
- Lay out additional interactive customer support tools, based on the success of tools such as Check if you need a UK visa and Check if you may be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa
- Create a series of ‘how to’ Blogs to help the customers in completing tasks such as making an application for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), validating their identity, or making an application for a sponsor license
- To have a fully digital end-to-end process for individuals using the UK immigration system in place by 2025
- Lessen customer queries through enhanced customer information and application processes, and
- To provide digital self-service support for customer queries using chatbot and voice bot services
Applying To Come To The UK
The ‘Digital By Default’ System
The ‘Digital By Default’ agenda for the immigration system will be followed, with more people being able to register their biometrics digitally or being able to reuse previously registered biometrics, making their application online and acquiring an eVisa instead of physical proof of their status.
eVisas are deemed by the Government to be safe, up-to-date, and easy to apply for and retain. But, at present, there are known issues with EU Settlement Scheme participants being able to access their UKVI account, which the Independent Monitoring Authority is currently investigating. Reduction of such issues, in tandem with an effective resolution centre service, will be crucial for ensuring that individuals are not disadvantaged. The Home Office has mentioned that from 2023 their customer service agents will be in-house experts who will be able to view all of the customer’s immigration interactions via one view.
Advancements are being made to the digital customer account this year and next year to improve useability. The Home Office is also discovering opportunities to link up government information and services, including through the government’s One Login initiative.
Visa vignettes and biometric immigration documents (biometric residence permits and cards) will be replaced by eVisas by December 2024. This deadline corresponds with the expiry date of many existing biometric immigration documents. These are only valid until 31 December 2024, even if the holder’s immigration permission expires after this date.
Primarily, the short-dating reason was because of the current encryption technology in the cards not fulfilling the EU requirements from 1 January 2025. But, since the UK has left the EU, the Home Office has proceeded to short-date with the expectation that the cards will phase out by the end of 2024. People will be given guidance on converting the evidence of their status to an eVisa by this date.
Although not included in the strategy document, employers will also need to be ready to carry out an online repeat right to work check for employees with limited immigration permission who depended on a short-dated biometric residence permit as evidence of their right to work. The volume of these checks will be substantial for larger employers.
This is the end of today’s blog update. We hope you found this blog useful. Please don’t forget to support us by subscribing to our newsletter and sharing this blog with your friends and family on Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter.