Why does your worker’s Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) expire in 2024?
For some time now, Biometric Residence Permit holders have been receiving BRP cards endorsed with an expiry date of 31 December 2024. This has been the case even where the individual’s permission to enter or remain in the UK has been granted beyond this date.
Why do worker’s Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) cards expire in 2024?
The change to Biometric Residence Permit expiry dates was initially brought about due to requirements introduced by the European Union. Following Brexit, these requirements were dropped by the UK, however the Home Office has opted to continue to issue BRPs with an end date of 31 December 2024. This is because the Home Office is progressing its plans to digitise the immigration system as far as it can. People with BRP cards now have digital status. The Home Office intends to stop issuing BRP cards from 1 January 2025. Visa holders will then rely solely on their digital status to demonstrate their right to work, right to rent property and to open a bank account.
This shift is in line with changes introduced to the right to work guidance from 6 April 2022, which confirmed BRP cards would no longer be acceptable documents for the purposes of manual right to work checks.
What impact does this have on Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) holders?
Expiry before 31 December 2024
If your worker’s leave to enter or remain in the UK expires before 31 December 2024, you will not be impacted by the above. The expiry date endorsed on the worker’s BRP card should be an accurate reflection of their visa expiry dates and as such, they will need to renew their leave to remain before it expires.
As the employer of a BRP holder which expires before 31 December 2024, you will need to ensure that you have a diary note of the expiry date of the worker’s leave to remain. Prior to expiry, the worker must provide you with evidence of their further leave to remain to enable you to carry out the required repeat right to work check. If they have submitted an in-time application which is yet to be decided, the repeat check will be undertaken by the employer via the Employer checking service. Only if the checking service returns a Positive Verification Notice should the employer then continue to employ the worker. If the visa is later granted, an additional standard prescribed RTW check should also be completed. More information on how to complete a prescribed right to work checks can be found here.
Expiry after 31 December 2024
The early expiry of the BRP cards will have no impact on those whose permission to live and work in the UK expires after 31 December 2024. These individuals will continue to have the right to live and work in the UK beyond this date, up to the date specified on their online immigration portal. If the worker was employed after 6 April 2022, then as an employer you should have undertaken an online right to work check which will have given you access to the employer facing immigration portal for each relevant worker. You can check your right to work records to ensure you have an accurate record of each worker’s leave to remain expiry date.
If the worker was employed before 6 April 2022, your right to work check may have been carried out on their BRP. In these circumstances you will undertake a repeat check shortly before the expiry of the BRP on 31 December 2024. This will be an online check which will result in you having sight of the employer facing immigration portal for the worker, which will give you the actual expiry date of their leave to remain. You will then retain your record of this right to work check and you will record the expiry date of their leave to remain.
Migrant workers must take care not to work in the UK beyond the relevant date unless, as above, an in-time extension application has been submitted, or a further visa has been granted. It is important for employers to have an effective system in place to monitor key visa dates to ensure against illegal working, and to assist with the compliance of their sponsorship duties.
What does the future hold for Biometric Residence Permit’s?
It is hoped that the shift towards digitalisation will streamline the immigration system however success will largely depend on the effectiveness of Home Office processes and systems. Delays to updating migrants’ digital immigration statuses, for example, have already started to cause issues both in the short and long term for individuals and employers, and further issues could arise which cause delays at the border upon re-entry for some.
Author: Megan Moorhouse
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in the article further, or are concerned that your worker’s visa may have expired, please contact the Freeths Immigration Team for support.
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.
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