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Sohan Sidhu, immigration special at Ellisons Solicitors in Bury St Edmunds, advises businesses and migrant workers to keep abreast of the Home Office’s move to digital

Migrants who have been given permission to enter or remain in the UK, including for the purposes of working here, will have been issued by the Home Office with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This is a physical plastic card which confirms the migrants status in the UK.

For quite some time now, the Home Office have been issuing BRP’s with an expiry date of 31 December 2024 even though the migrant’s actual permission to remain in the UK may extend beyond that date because the Home Office is moving towards a fully digital immigration system from 1 January 2025.

They are implementing new regulations and it will be very important for employers to be aware of and take account of these new regulations.

Sohan Sidhu, immigration specialist at Ellisons Solicitors.
Sohan Sidhu, immigration specialist at Ellisons Solicitors.

There are a number of steps which employers will need to take to ensure that they remain compliant with the Home Office’s new digital immigration system and these include:

1 - Updating right to work checks. For employers employing migrant workers, it will be in their interests to carry out a check on current right to work documents and identify any migrants who are in possession of a BRP expiring at the end of this year. It will be important for migrants to switch to the digital verification where this is necessary in order to ensure that the correct permit expiration date is shown.

2 - It can be prudent for employers to ensure that their migrant employees understand the change being introduced by the Home Office towards a digital visa system and ensure that migrants inform the business when they receive their new digital verification.

3 - It would be advisable to inform migrant employees that they should still continue to retain their BRP until the end of this year and this can be particularly important when they are travelling abroad. It should not be a problem for them to produce their digital permit when they re-enter the UK but it is likely that being in possession of the actual BRP may make their return quicker and smoother.

The Home Office has begun a process of sending emails to migrants who are in possession of physical BRP’s to inform them of the transition to a fully digital verification system and it would be prudent for businesses to ensure that their Human Resource teams have the knowledge and ability to undertake digital right to work checks.

With the Home Office’s ambition to move towards a digital landscape, it can also be important for employers to inform international migrants travelling from connected overseas businesses and offices about the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) entry requirements for certain non-European nationals particularly to avoid any delays when they are travelling to the UK, including for business purposes.

As employers employing foreign workers are already know, there are extensive and onerous Home Office regulations which they must adhere to, in order to remain compliant.

Ellisons Solicitors
Ellisons Solicitors

For advice on immigration issues, contact Sohan Sidhu by email at sohan.sidhu@ ellisonssolicitors.com or on 01284763333.