Have a UK BRP? You MUST register for new eVisa

The UK visa process is changing, which is kind of terrifying but here’s what you need to know.

If you have a UK visa, you would have received a Biometrics Residence Permit (BRP). It’s a little ID card that looks like a drivers license. On your BRP, it shows all the important details of your visa and it can be used to check your immigration status in the UK, for jobs interviews or at customs.

But the UK is getting rid of the BRP cards and a new system is starting – the eVisa. The new eVisa is an online record of your immigration status, rather than a physical card. Which honestly is great. But you have to register for the new system yourself. Let me walk you through it.

The whole process is fairly straightforward but there’s a fair amount of instructions to read so take your time and double check everything you’ve entered.

First up: You can use this service if the Home Office has emailed you about how to get access to your eVisa. If you’ve not been contacted by the Home Office, you do not need to do anything yet. You’ll be able to set up access to your eVisa later in 2024.

How to register for the new UK eVisa (Complete Walkthrough)

What you will need to register for the eVisa

  • your date of birth
  • your BRP number
  • your passport (if you don’t have a BRP)
  • access to an email address and phone number
  • access to a smartphone

ALSO HEADS UP: you will be required to take a photo of yourself that will be used on their database to verify you. If you want to get dressed and look presentable, that’s up to you.

The whole process took me about 15 minutes start to finish. I would recommend completing the entire process in one sitting rather than coming back to it later.

Step 1: Create a UKVI account to access your eVisa, which will replace your BRP

You should create your UKVI account (again, only if the Home Office has emailed you). You’ll receive the link in the email from the Home Office.

Make sure you select Sign Up and not Sign In (a mistake I made!)

eVisa registration process

Have you ever had a Biometric residence permit?

  • Yes

Do you still have your BRP card? (including an expired BRP)

  • Yes

Is your BRP still valid?

  • Yes

Then you get to the page when you’ll actually create your account.

Who are you creating this account for?

  • Me

What is your name?

Country of nationality

  • If you start typing, it’ll show a drop down list

Which identity document are you using?

  • At first I used my passport, because I thought that would be easier and at the end of the process, I got an error message. I don’t know if they don’t allow Canadian passports to be used or the system was just broken, but I eventually redid all these steps and selected BRP instead.
  • It’ll ask you for your BRP number to proceed

Do you want someone else to access your account?

  • It’s up to you, I said no

Double check your answers before progressing! It’s really difficult to change answers submitted to the Home Office after the fact.

Then you’ll get an another email so you can progress to the next stage. You can now sign into your account and you’ll get a screen about linking your account through their UK Immigration: ID Check App. You’ll want to download that through the app store onto your mobile.

On my computer browser after I was signed into my new UKVI account, it gave me a QR code to scan with my mobile in the app to link the two together.

You’ll then get a brief rundown on your screen of what happens next, thankfully it’s fairly painless and select your BRP as your identity document.

The app will prompt you to scan both sides and it’ll take photos. Then it’ll want you to place your phone on the card so it can read the little chip inside.

Next the app will want to scan your face. Afterwards you’ll also be prompted to take a clear, simple photo of yourself. I didn’t expect this and I was in PJs, eyes fully crusty from sleep. It’s up to you if you care what you look like, but they will keep this photo on your record.

Moving forward, you could disconnect and come back to the app later, but I recommend just finishing the process on the phone you’re using so you don’t have to keep signing in and out – it’s not much longer.

There’s three major sections that have to be completed in order before you can finish. At this stage you’ve confirmed your identity, so the next step is to add your mobile number and your email address that you can be contacted on.

You’ll then be asked to provide three security questions. You’ll need to answer one question from each set of questions so this can be used in case you can’t log in and they need to verify your details.

After your security questions, you’ll want to submit your declaration confirming all your details are correct. Then it’s just time to submit your eVisa!

What’s next?

I completed my details on a Tuesday afternoon. 24 hours later I had an email from the Home Office that my eVisa was ready!

I logged in with my Biometrics details and my birthday and there was my photo and all my details. It shows what you can and cannot do, when your visa expires and everything else you’d need to know. To be fair, it’s a lot more convenient than digging out a little card you misplaced.