The government has abolished the previously known “Police Registration Scheme” with immediate effect. Having been introduced in early 2014, the scheme ended on the 4th of August 2022. The removal of the scheme is a welcome change to immigration law as the registration process was onerous for individuals coming to the UK.
Registering with the police was a part of visa requirements for individuals over the age of 16 coming from several countries on a visa that lasted longer than six months. These individuals were required to report to their local police within seven days of arrival or risk a reduction in the length of their stay. The scheme also required individuals to report any subsequent changes to the information they provided to the police.
How Does the Change Impact You?
If you had an upcoming appointment with the police, you would likely have received some form of communication to inform you that it has been cancelled. You do not have to take any action concerning this, as all appointments have been cancelled for everyone. If you were to book an appointment, you would now see that there are none available, this is not an error of the system, and as the removal of the scheme is with immediate effect, no appointment will now be held.
If you are an individual who has previously had to report to the police, there is nothing else that you must do, and you no longer have to inform the police of a change of circumstances. You may have a police registration certificate; previously, you needed to keep a hold of this as it would be asked as part of future applications; you are no longer required to keep this in your records.
If you are an individual who has received a visa to come to the UK with a requirement to register at your local police, this is no longer a part of your visa requirement. This means that once you arrive in the UK, you can settle into your new life in the UK without the added stressor of registering at your local police station.
If you are awaiting a visa decision and you previously were told the visa would come with the requirement to register at the police, this will no longer be the case. All visas decided from the 4th August 2022 should not have a requirement.
Applications that are being made even after the 4th of August still ask whether you have previously had to register with the police and whether this was a requirement on your visa. There is no update on the immigration guidance regarding when this will no longer be asked, but in the meantime, we recommend that you continue to answer yes to this question if you have previously had to register.
This change is no doubt a sigh of relief to many foreign nationals that no longer are under strict time pressure to go to the police station or face a reduction on their visa entitlement. However, note that although you do not have to go to the police anymore when your circumstances change, you are still required to inform the Home Office.