The requirement for some foreign nationals to register with the police has been suspended with effect from at least 4 August 2022. The Home Office has not made an official announcement and the Immigration Rules have not been amended, however affected individuals are being contacted by the Home Office or police services directly.
Under the UK Immigration Rules, certain foreign nationals are subject to an immigration condition requiring them to register with the police. They are also required to make notifications to the police where certain of their circumstances, had changed, e.g. they move residential address, change jobs or have an extension of their immigration permission. Although these requirements are currently still included in the Immigration Rules, they are no longer being observed in practice, as confirmed on GOV.UK from 4 August 2022.
This change will be welcomed because it removes a significant administrative burden both for the affected individuals and UK police forces. The registration system had been severely backlogged for some time, with the Metropolitan Police advising that no registration appointments were available until 2023.
Also, individuals who fail to comply with the condition are no longer at risk of criminal prosecution and/or refusal of immigration permission.
What do affected individuals need to know about this change?
A public notice issued by the Home Office, National Police Chief's Council and Counter Terrorism Policing confirms that:
- Individuals who receive the public notice are no longer required to register with the police from the date of its receipt (this includes people who are waiting for an appointment);
- Individuals who have been issued with a visa with the police registration requirement endorsed but who have not yet travelled will either have their visa reissued if possible or will be notified of the change in their conditions in advance of travel;
- Immigration permission will now be granted without the police registration requirement imposed;
- Individuals who present at a police registration office will be advised they are not required to register;
- Individuals who have already travelled or who are in the UK will not have their visa/BRP updated to reflect the removal of the requirement;
- Individuals with existing immigration permission containing the condition will not have their visa or BRP amended, but they are no longer required to retain their police registration certificate or to report any changes to the information included on it to the police. They do however continue to be required to report certain changes to the Home Office;
- Proof of compliance with the requirement will not be required for applications for further UK immigration permission; and
- Individuals who have already paid the registration fee prior to the scheme being suspended will not be refunded.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.